Casebook: Retail Development - Shop outside town centre passes viability test

A shop selling safety footwear at a warehouse in Northamptonshire has been allowed after an inspector ruled that it would not harm the vitality and viability of other recognised shopping centres.

The inspector decided that the shop would be ancillary to the primary storage and distribution use of the building. She acknowledged that safety footwear could be sold from town centre shops that the council referred to as suitable units available in recognised shopping centres and that the supporting text to a structure plan policy highlighted the need for strict control over retail development outside town centres to enhance their vitality and viability.

However, she decided that the proposal differed from retail and other key town centre uses attracting a lot of people. In her view, it was more akin to retailing from industrial premises, which according to the local plan did not require consideration of need or the sequential approach.

Taking account of the scale and nature of the proposal, the inspector concluded that it would not have any unduly harmful effect on the development plan strategy for retail schemes and that it would not conflict with the aims and objectives of PPG6 on town centres and retail developments.

DCS No: 47049823; Inspector: Jane Miles; Written representations.

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