As part of the updating of the evidence base required to inform the emerging Local Plan the Council commissioned Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners (NLP) to produce a comprehensive Retail study.

The purpose of the study was to:

  • Update the evidence in light of changes in national policy, in particular the requirements of the NPPF and recent changes to permitted development rights and retail and leisure trends;
  • Refresh the evidence base to aid the implementation of the Local Plan up to its end date of 2036 through provision of a new household survey, expenditure forecasts and floorspace projections and recommendations for development plan policies;
  • Review the existing retail hierarchy advising if it is still appropriate;
  • Advise on the scope of growth and the most appropriate locations for future development and the balance between centres, along with future policy options to address the identified needs;
  • The potential for leisure and other town centre uses in the district.

The study provides robust and sound baseline evidence to inform the preparation of the Council’s emerging Local Plan and will be a tool for the Council to make informed choices about the nature and extent of retail growth to be accommodated throughout the district in the future. In particular, it will play a key role in guiding the spatial vision and strategic objectives set in the Local Plan in the context of predicted population growth over the plan period.

Download the Retail and Main Town Centre Uses Study