Planning House Revisited – Enforcement Investigation

Over the last couple of weeks, Helen has been out and about looking back at some of the tricky applications where approval was gained and development is starting to be delivered.

Visit 2… This application was submitted as a result of enforcement investigation. An application was submitted for an extension to the retail shop, however the applicant received a response from the planning department that the retail operation at the site had never been subject to planning permission. Therefore the enforcement team were involved.

The site is in a rural location outside any of the retail centres, however Helen negotiated with planning policy. The specifics of the proposal were considered and agreed that given the location of the retail proposal in former agricultural buildings and the type of goods on sale coupled with the farm diversification policy RUR3, neither a Retail Impact Assessment nor a Sequential assessment would be required to support the current application.

The application included an extension, which has not yet been built, however it is nice to see the regularised retail operation continuing and now benefitting from planning permission.

What is a Retail Impact Assessment?

A Retail Impact Assessment is required as part of an application for retail use which is outside a defined retail centre. The assessment aims to evaluate the impact of the proposed development on the vitality and viability of existing centres within the local area.

What is a Sequential Test?

The sequential test is used to guide commercial developments to a suitable location, giving justification for the final chosen location.  The scope of the test and the alternative locations to be considered should be agreed with the Local Planning Authority. new developments should first consider locations within an existing town centre or other defined retail centre. If no suitable locations are available, they are then guided to edge of centre locations, followed by out of centre locations that are ideally well connected and accessible.

> For more information check out our Practical Guide to Retail Impact Assessment & Sequential Testing

retail planning application