convenience and 3,376sqm comparison. This gives a net increase of 5,281sqm. On the strictest terms the criteria contained in Schedule (c) (i) cannot be met and the 2000 Structure Plan would appear to rule out further convenience floorspace by 2006 in this audit area. However the retail capacity assessment undertakenfor the 2000 Structure Plan and shown in Technical Note 7 is now well out of date and that the latest advice is that retail growth will have a much stronger growth rate than previously envisaged. This extra growth rate is expected to result in greater expenditure available in the catchment and therefore the need for additional floor space. Although there is no way of verifying this theoretical surplus until the new retail capacity figures are produced in autumn 2005 some initial indications from the 2004 Household survey appear to indicate surpluses in many catchment areas. I therefore agree that the new growth figures may increase unmet surpluses and I am comfortable with the projections contained in the retail impact assessment. Indeed it is possible that a new quality foodstore in the Town Centre will assist regeneration by clawing back leakage to other town centres. The predicted levels of impact on Wishaw and Motherwell town centres are 3% while Carluke will receive a 6% impact and out of centre floorspace is to receive a 6% impact. The applicant therefore argues that new store can trade comfortably within the existing shopping hierarchy without threatening defined town centres. In policy terms there would appear to be no significant impact to the retail centres outwith the catchment. There is no policy protection for existing individual retail outlets and free competition must be accepted. In view of the potential surplus expenditure and predicted levels of impact I am content that a case for the development can be established.
The second criterion relates to the
acceptability of the
location of this development and
sequential approach be taken
approach is set out in NPPG 8
Town Centres and Retailing”. Preference should be given
firstly to town centre sites followed by edge of centre sites and only then by out of centre sites that can be accessed by a range of Transport. The new store will be located adjacent to the town centre as defined by the Local Plan. There are no alternative sites capable of
accommodating the development within the town centre. The developer can make appropriate provision for infrastructure recommended to ensure this.
The proposal is considered to be significant in scale in terms of Strategic Policy 9 however as it satisfies the above criteria it is not deemed to be a departure, consequently the proposal does not need to be assessed under Strategic Policy 10.
In terms of the Southern Area draft local plan the bulk of the site is zoned for industrial use (Policy IND 8 Established Industrial & Business Area) the pedestrian access link to Main Street is zoned for commercial purposes (Policy RTL6 Secondary Commercial Areas) and the proposed road link to the south of the rail line is zoned as protected open space (Policy L3 Protected Open Space). These zonings reflect current usage rather than a specific desire to retain such uses at this location. As such the proposal does not result in an unacceptable loss of industrial land given the oversupply of such land that the Council currently enjoys. The loss of the small areas of regenerated scrub woodland and passive open space at that particular location. Neither area has significant recreational value and replacement landscaping will be undertaken to mitigate against the loss of trees involved. While the application is technically contrary to the Southern Area Local Plan it can be seen as acceptable to the wider aims of the Development Plan which seeks to promote the economic and social redevelopment of disadvantaged communities like Wishaw.
Other material considerations which must be taken into consideration in this case include the assessment of the application in terms paragraph 45 of NPPG. This lists 11 criteria that such developments must satisfy if they are to be approved:
That it satisfies the sequential approach: as indicated in paragraph 4.1(A) above, I believe that it does.
That it does not adversely affect the development plan strategy in support of the town