Planning Portal

Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland
Regional Planning Policies: Policy IC 12 Neighbourhood Shopping

Policy IC 12 Neighbourhood Shopping
This policy has been superseded by: PPS 5-Retailing and Town Centres.
PPS 5 cancelled by the publication of the SPPS
To retain and where possible enhance neighbourhood shopping centres.
Neighbourhood shopping includes purpose built local centres, local shopping parades and significant clusters of shops. The primary role of this level of retailing is the provision of locally accessible convenience goods which is of particular importance to the less mobile sectors of society.
Proposals for the development of convenience retailing and shops whose primary function is to shopping meet a local need, which are to be located in or adjacent to existing neighbourhood centres, will be encouraged provided that:
  • any defined need cannot be met within the existing centre;
  • the proposal would have no significant adverse impact on the vitality and viability of the centre; and
  • the development can be successfully integrated into the centre.
Medium-sized food supermarkets may be considered acceptable at this scale of provision. Expansion of local centres will be considered in terms of potential impact on amenity, traffic and parking and impact on other local centres.
Associated service and community uses such as libraries, clinics and local offices are often appropriate and desirable and will normally be acceptable within or adjacent to local centres. Where they predominate however they can erode the level of retail service provided. The change of use of retail units to hot food cany-outs, amusement arcades and bookmakers offices can have the same results. Consideration may be given to the change of use of property within a neighbowhood centre to a non-retail use dependent on:
  • the need to retain local retailing;
  • the 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; and
  • the contribution of the proposed use to meeting a legitimate local need.
New neighbowhood or local shopping 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 is acceptable in terms of environmental and traffic considerations. Where substantial areas of land are zoned for residential purposes in area plans it may be necessary to identify a site for neighbowhood or local centre facilities.
The provision of environmental improvements and car parking facilities within neighbourhood centres will be encouraged where appropriate.
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