Planning Portal

Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland
Regional Planning Policies: Policy IC 10 Major Retail Developments

Policy IC 10 Major Retail Developments
This policy has been superseded by: PPS 5-Retailing and Town Centres.
PPS 5 cancelled by the publication of the SPPS
Proposals for retail development, which complement or meet existing deficiencies in the overall shopping provision of any particular settlement, may be granted provided the development would not be prejudicial to established town and other shopping centres.
It is not the function of the Department to preserve existing commercial interests nor to inhibit competition between retailers or even between various forms of retailing. It will allow the private sector to respond to changing consumer requirements. New retail development can improve choice and lead to lower prices through increased competition.
Out-of-town centre shopping development has a role to play in accommodating types of retailing which are unsuited to a town centre location, and in satisfying local deficiencies in retail provision. It can contribute towards urban regeneration. However, such developments may seriously prejudice the vitality or viability of existing town, district or neighbourhood shopping centres.
Additional significant retail developments on sites outside of existing town centres will therefore only be permitted in locations where the development will:
  • complement or meet existing deficiencies in the overall shopping provision for the particular settlement;
  • not lead to a significant loss of investment in existing town or neighbourhood shopping centres;
  • not threaten the vitality or viability of a centre orlead to an unacceptable reduction in the range of facilities and retail serivices within the centre;
  • not lead to an unreasonable or detrimental impact on amenity, traffic movements or road safety;
  • not result in a wide-scale closure of existing shops;
  • be accessible to both public and private transport; and
  • provide adequate car parking and be of a high quality of design.
Conditions restricting the scale and nature of development may be imposed on permissions in order to protect the shopping role of existing centres. Such conditions may specify, minimum or maximum store sizes and types of goods to be sold.
All proposals for new major retail developments will have to be accompanied by an assessment of the potential impact on other retailing centres and anticipated changes in traffic patterns. Detailed calculations or forecasts of retail growth or of changes in the geographical distribution of retailing will not normally be required.
Proposals for retail development in the countryside outside the planned limits of settlements will not be acceptable. The Department considers that there is no justifiable need for any regional out-of-town shopping centres in Northern Ireland.
Within the food retailing sector the trend towards car-borne, one stop shopping has led to the development of large food based superstores. Such developments rely on the.close proximity of adequate car parking and for this reason locations within existing town centres may be inappropriate. Favourable consideration will be given to food stores on edge-of-centre or out of centre locations provided:
  • there is a clear deficiency in provision within the particular neighbourhood;
  • the development would not undermine the convenience shopping function of established centres;
  • they cannot be practically or appropriately accommodated within existing town or shopping centres;
  • adequate provision is made for car parking;
  • the development will not lead to an unreasonable or detrimental impact on local amenity, traffic movements or road safety; and
  • there is adequate provision for both public and private transport.
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