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Guildford Borough Council

Proposed Submission Local Plan: strategy and sites 2017

Proposed Submission Local Plan: strategy and sites 2017 - Part 1: Policies

Policy E9: Local Centres and isolated retail units

Policy E9: Local Centres and isolated retail units

Introduction

4.4.92    Over the plan period, four three new Local Centres are planned to be built at each of the strategic sites of Gosden Hill, the former Wisley airfield and, Blackwell Farm and Normandy and Flexford. The precise location of each centre will be determined by planning application. Once built, these new local centres will be treated as local centres within the context of this Plan, and subsequently their exact location and boundaries subsequently designated as new Local Centres in the next Local Plan review

POLICY E9: LocalCentres and isolated retail units

(1) We will support tThe role of Local Centres will be supported as the focus for local communities in providing for their everyday shopping and service needs. Proposals for residential use of upper floors add to the liveliness of centres, and will be considered positively.

(2) The following areas, as shown on the Policies Map, are designated as Local Centres. For each, the boundary of the Primary Shopping Area is the same as the boundary of that Centre.:

(3) The 14 urban Local Centres are:

(a) Aldershot Road, Westborough

(b) Collingwood Crescent, Boxgrove

(c) Kingpost Parade, London Road, Burpham

(d) Epsom Road, Merrow

(e) Kingfisher Drive, Merrow

(f) Madrid Road, Guildford Park

(g) Southway, Park Barn

(h) Stoughton Road, Bellfields

(i) The Square, Onslow Village

(j) Woodbridge Hill, Guildford

(k) Woodbridge Road, Guildford

(l) Worplesdon Road, Stoughton

(m) Ash Vale Parade, Ash

(n) The Street, Tongham.

(4) The six seven rural Local Centres are:

(a) Bishopsmead Parade, East Horsley

(b) Effingham

(c) Fairlands

(d) Jacobs Well

(e) Send

(f) Shalford

(g) Shere.

(5) In order to strengthen the liveliness and economic resilience of the borough’s Local Centres, proposals for retail and other main town centre uses developments consistent with the scale and function of that centre will be supported. Where no suitable sites are available within the centre, sites on the edge of designated centres will be considered. We will not apply this sequential approach to small-scale development proposals for main town centre uses of less

than 100sq m (gross) in rural areas.

(6) Retail and leisure development proposals over 500sq m (gross) which are not located in a local or district centre, and where the site is not allocated for the proposed use must be supported by an retail impact assessment.

(7)Proposals for new hot food takeaways (Use Class A5) within 500m of schools will not be accepted because of the potential negative impact on the health of school children.

(8) Within the Local Centres shown on the Policies Map, proposals for change of use of an ground floor shop (Use Class A1) A1 retail use at ground floor to use for financial and professional services (Use Class A2) and/or food and drink (Use Class A3/A4/A5) another A Class use will be permitted where all of the following criteria are have been met:

(a) the proposal will not result in a concentration of such uses that would be harmful to the local shopping centre's vitality and viability; and

(b) the proposal will not result in loss of amenity in terms of noise, disturbance, smell, litter or traffic generation; and

(c) the proposal will not prejudice the character and appearance of the local centre and its immediate environment.

(9) Exceptionally loss of town centre uses (Use Class A1) a proposed change of use of an A1 retail unit at ground floor level to a non-A use will be permitted, subject to criteria (8) (a)-(c), where the proposed use is appropriate to a Local Centre. a suitable ground floor main town centre use and requires a shopfront.

(10) The loss of either

(a) a shop or service unit (within Use Class A1) within a Local Centre that provides for everyday needs, or

(b) an isolated Use Class A1 retail unit that provides for everyday needs

will only be acceptable if evidence is provided of active and comprehensive marketing of the site for its current use for a minimum of 12 months prior to submission of a planning application.

(11) Proposals for change of use from non-retail Class A uses (A2, A3, A4, and A5) at ground floor level to a suitable ground floor main town centre use will be permitted subject to meeting both of criteria (8)(b) and (c) above.

(12) Residential and offices within the B1 Use Class are not considered to be suitable main town centre uses for the ground floor level of a Local Centre Primary Shopping Area.

To ensure that people living and working in rural areas can access everyday goods and services, we will resist the loss of rural shops and service units that provide for everyday needs (within Use Class A) within rural areas but outside of Local and District Centres, unless a minimum of 12 months marketing for that Use Class is demonstrated.

 

Definitions

4.4.92a Main town centre uses are defined as retail development (including warehouse clubs and factory outlet centres); leisure, entertainment facilities the more intensive sport and recreation uses (including cinemas, restaurants, drive-through restaurants, bars and pubs, night-clubs, casinos, health and fitness centres, indoor bowling centres, and bingo halls); offices; and arts, culture and tourism development (including theatres, museums, galleries and concert halls, hotels and conference facilities).

4.4.92b Due to the size and distribution of uses within local centres, it is not suitable to define primary and secondary shopping frontages. For each of our Local Centres, the Primary Shopping Area (the area where retail development is concentrated) is the boundary of that centre. These are shown on the Policies Map.

4.4.92c In Guildford borough small-scale developments means those of less than 100 sq m (gross).

4.4.92d Isolated retail unit means all A1 units situated outside of the defined retail centres. This can include more than one retail unit.

4.4.92e Shops and service units that provide for everyday needs include post offices, convenience stores, bakers, newsagents, chemists, etc.

4.4.92f Evidence of active and comprehensive marketing is defined in appendix A2.

Reasoned Justification

4.4.93    Small-scale developments of main town centre uses should be located in Local Centres as the most sustainable locations. This helps people to make a single trip to that centre for several purposes. It also provides increased competition and customer choice.

4.4.94    National planning policy sets out two tests that must be applied when considering developments of main town centre uses that are not in a centre and that we have not allocated in this Local Plan. These are the sequential test and the impact test. In rural areas, national policy allows for small-scale development without meeting the sequential test.

4.4.95 Due to the size and distribution of uses within local centres, it is not suitable to define primary and secondary shopping frontages. For each of our Local Centres, the Primary Shopping Area (the area where retail development is concentrated) is the boundary of that centre. These are shown on the Policies Map.

4.4.96    It is recognised that shopping and leisure patterns are constantly changing, and that Local Centres need to be able to respond to these to stay lively and to provide opportunities for small, often independent businesses that serve local communities. A reasonably flexible approach to ground floor main town centre uses will therefore minimise vacancies within Local Centres.

4.4.97    Most ground floor uses in LocalDistrict Centres are within the “A” Use Class, that is, they are shopping area uses. Other uses typically found in shopping / service centres are outside of the “A Use Class”, and include health and fitness centres, arts and culture, nail bars, and hotels.

4.4.97a  One of the local centres (Ash Vale Parade, Ash) has been identified as having land which falls within 400m of the SPA.  Development on this site which falls within the 400m exclusion zone (as defined in Policy P5) will require a project-level HRA.

 

Key Evidence

  • Carter Jonas, Guildford Retail and Leisure Study Update 2014 (Guildford Borough Council, 2015) and Addendum 2017
  • Guildford Borough Council land use surveys, to 20152016

 

Monitoring Indicators

Indicator

Target

Data source

Number of vacant units in the designated frontage

Not to increase

Annual surveys

Number of planning applications for main town centre uses over 100 sq m gross that are approved outside of local centres.    

None

Planning applications and appeals