Retail and city town centre review
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Following the adoption of the JCS in December 2017, the authorities have now begun a review which focusses on retail and city / town centre matters. The review will, amongst other things:
Review the health of all existing designated centres in the JCS area, including Gloucester, Cheltenham, Tewkesbury, Winchcombe and Bishops Cleeve. It will also consider the health of existing and need for additional ‘local centres’ that provide for the communities every day needs.
Provide a strategy and planning policy for each of the centres, looking to support their vitality and viability over the medium to long-term, looking at ways centres can adapt to the changing nature of town centres and retailing more generally.
Consider the need for additional floorspace to support growth over the plan period and potential site allocations to deliver this.
Set out locally set floorspace threshold for impact, which will be used to determine what size of planning application for retail will be subject to the impact test during the future.
The authorities have appointed Avison Young (formerly GVA) to prepare the necessary evidence and provide support in preparing the emerging plan.
The JCS authorities have established a ‘Stakeholder Group’ to inform the preparation of evidence and the plan-making process. This will help to ensure that the process is robust and secures as much consensus from stakeholders as possible, in advance of public examination. The group is based on the existing LEP ‘Retail and High Streets’ key sector group, with additional representation as necessary to support the needs of the process.
Following the completion of the evidence base in June/July 2019, it in intended a Draft Plan consultation will take place in Autumn 2019, with a further consultation on the Pre-Submission Plan in January / February 2020. This will be following by Submission to the Planning Inspectorate for independent examination in March 2020.