PPS 5: Retailing and Town Centres
Planning for Local Shopping: District and Local Centres
49. The Primary role of this level of retailing is the provision of locally accessible convenience goods. District and local shopping centres will be retained and where possible enhanced. Proposals for the development of convenience retailing and shops whose primary function is to meet a local need, which are located in or adjoining existing district or local centres will be encouraged provided that:
- the proposal meets existing deficiencies in local shopping provision;
- the proposal would be unlikely to have an adverse impact on the vitality and viability of existing centres;
- the development can be successfully integrated into the centre; and
- the development would not lead to a detrimental impact on amenity, traffic movements and road safety.
50. Proposals for new district centres, over 1000 square metres gross retail floorspace, will be considered within the appropriate policies for major retail developments contained in paragraphs 38 to 41 (inclusive). New local centres, of an appropriate scale, within established residential areas may be acceptable where there is a clear deficiency in local provision and where the proposed site site is acceptable in terms of environmental and traffic considerations. The provision of facilities for pedestrians and cyclists will be encouraged and environmental improvements and car parking facilities within local centres will be encouraged where appropriate.
51. District and local centres often provide, in addition to retailing, services to the local community. Associated service and community uses such as libraries, clinics and local offices are often appropriate and desirable and will normally be acceptable within or adjoining district and local centres. Where they predominate, however, they can erode the level of retailing provided. Consideration may be given to the change of use of retail premises to non-retail use, within a district and local centre, dependent on:
- the need to retain local retailing;
- the likely impact of the development on the vitality and viability of the centre;
- the clustering or dominance of non-retail uses;
- the level of vacancy within the centre;
- the likely contribution of the proposed use to meeting a legitimate local need; and
- the demand for car parking and traffic generation.