Around the World
Current central and local government planning
guidelines all support our viewpoint
Contrary to the Inspectors views for a supermarket on this site
Conclusions of the Public Inquiry, 1995:
Find the whole document here.
41.92. I consider that the proposed development of a supermarket
would be likely to prejudice and harm the vitality and viability of the town centre.
41.94 in my view, Hadleigh has as much if not more chance to compete and survive
as a vital centre and living Conservation Area by continuing to offer the diversity and
speciality of convenience shops which it clearly displays at the moment and which is one
of its main attractions. However, in Hadleigh, where the vitality and viability of the
centre is I believe so dependent on small shops, which occupy listed buildings, I conclude
that the proposed development would be harmful both for the vitality and viability of the
retail centre and the character and appearance of the Conservation Area which relies
heavily on keeping shops in use.
41.98. Walking the well-used paths up Constitution Hill and then across the fields to
Coram Street, one can look down upon the town and again see the High Street across trees
and meadows. The large roof of the store, the expanse of some 200 parked cars, and the
continual movement of vehicles would be set out below one and would intrude upon and
radically change the view for the worse. It would be impossible to hide such development
from the vantage points on the Hill which allow a unique opportunity to view the old market
town. I accept that the area is not in continuous view but people climb hills to gain a
good view, and to stop and look round, and I consider that it would be most undesirable to
alter the present view of Hadleigh by introducing such development.
We do not believe there is a need for another supermarket.
In the Babergh Local Plan Alteration No. 2 Issues Report Public Consultation
Hadleigh Town Centre.
While there has been much recent speculation about a new food
supermarket in the town centre, we are not putting forward any new site for retail
development. We do not believe there is a need for another supermarket.
You can find the whole report here.
(The Hadleigh Society comments on other aspects of this
report can be found here.)
The Impact of Large Foodstores on Market Towns and District Centres
A recent study by C B Hillier Parker to examine the impact of large foodstore
development on market towns and district centres concluded:
Our research has shown that large foodstores can and have had an
adverse impact on market towns and district centres. The level, and consequences, of
impact will vary depending on the particular local circumstances of the centres concerned.
Smaller centres which are dependent to a large extent on convenience retailing to underpin
their function, are most vulnerable to the effects of larger foodstore development in
edge-of-centre and out-of-centre locations.
It is vital that those responsible for the future of market towns
and district centres take positive steps to improve the range and quality of food shopping
in these centres, and adopt a cautious approach to considering the location and likely
long term consequences of the development of large foodstores in non-central locations.
This research report, The Impact of Large Foodstores on Market Towns and District
Centres (ISBN 0-11-753478-1) 1998 is published for the Department of the Environment,
Transport and the Regions by the Stationary Office, price £20.
A summary can be found here.
Key points include:
|Almost 45% of local authorities consider retail and transport impact
methodologies are inadequate, and are concerned about the objectivity of assessments, the
lack of reliable base data and the ease with which variables can be manipulated.|
|Our research suggests that a combination of the absence of a consistent
and workable methodology to assess impact and dearth of available base data has led to
significant failings in proper planning control in the past. Many local authorities
consider large foodstores have had an adverse impact on the vitality and viability of
market towns and district centres.|
|Our research identified impacts on market share of between 13%-50% on the
principal food retailers in market towns and district centres as a result of large
foodstores in edge-of-centre and out-of-centre locations. The decline in market share for
the town centre convenience sector as a whole ranged from 21% in St Neots to 64% in
Fakenham, and 75% in Warminster.|
|In Fakenham the number of convenience retailers in the town centre
declined from 18 to 13; vacancies increased by 33%; and there was a noticeable
deterioration of the built environment of the town centre following the opening of an
|impact of large out-of-centre and edge-of-centre foodstores is not
limited to convenience retailing, but can also adversely affect comparison and service
uses. For example, in Fakenham the reduction in turnover of six comparison retailers
ranged from 3.7% to 18.9%.|
|decline in the turnover of town centre foodstores (38% impact in the case
of Tesco in Cirencester). This can and has led to the closure of some town centre food
|in Fakenham some 46% of the trade of the out-of-centre Safeway is derived
from clawback of expenditure. However, in this and other case study towns, this has led to
no tangible benefit to the town/district centre.|
|Smaller centres which are dependent principally on their convenience
shopping function are generally less able to adjust to a transfer of food trade to less
central locations. Where foodstore proposals are disproportionately large compared with
the size of the centre, the new store can supplant the role of the centre. Smaller centres
therefore require additional 'protection'. |
|greater onus on local authorities and developers to adopt a positive
approach to sustaining and enhancing market towns and district centres. They should assess
thoroughly all potential town centre opportunities before advocating less central
|Where there is no need for a foodstore (i.e. no qualitative or
quantitative deficiency), then no additional foodstores should be developed.|
|All foodstore proposals over 1,000 m2 net sales, on the edge
of, or outside market towns and district centres, should be accompanied by a Combined,
Retail, Economic And Traffic Evaluation (CREATE|
|it is critical that local authorities develop proactive strategies for
House of Commons Debate, 11th March 1999
The Hillier Parker report was much referenced when the House of Commons
recently debated the impact of supermarkets on our environment and our way of life,
particularly in the context of North Norfolk.
You can find this reported in House
of Commons Hansard Debates for 11 Mar 1999. In this debate the Minister for
the Regions, Regeneration and Planning (Mr. Richard Caborn) stated
|The report confirms what we already know: large food stores on the edge of market towns
can seriously damage the vitality and viability of their centres. It provides further
justification for the Government's policy.|
|If there is no need for additional development, there will be no need to identify
additional sites. Local planning authorities should adopt a plan-led approach to handling
planning applications involving new retail developments. As we have recently made it
clear, where retail development is proposed, but was not envisaged in the development
plan, applicants should show the need for additional facilities, and that a sequential
approach has been applied to the selection of the site. When that has been established,
and if an out-of-centre site has been chosen, the local planning authority is now required
to take into account the likely harm to the development plan strategy, accessibility by a
choice of means of transport, the likely effect of the proposals on overall travel
patterns and the likely impact on the vitality and viability of existing centres, and on
the rural economy.|
|Taken overall, the impact of a proposal on the vitality and viability of the rural
economy is a material planning consideration that local authorities should take into
account in deciding planning applications involving retail development. There is scope for
local planning authorities to consider those factors, and to determine whether
collectively they would have an adverse impact on their town centres and/or the rural
economy more generally.|
|Authorities should discourage inappropriate proposals--proposals for developments for
which the need has not been established, or for developments that are too large in
relation to the centre.|
|Large food stores built on the outskirts of market towns attract people at the expense
of town centres, and do not add to net overall employment in food retail.|
|With fewer people visiting the town centre, trade would be lost, there would be less new
investment, and closures and overall job losses could well result.|
|I hope that planning authorities take account of what I have said this evening, and that
it will be "material" to their planning regimes.|
Discusses the application of PPG6.
Will the planning constraints change?
There are reports
that the DTI wants to relax the present planning constraints, perhaps influenced by
Wal*Mart's potential to drive down prices. We will be closely monitoring this area.