Agenda item

City of London Local Plan Review: Proposed Draft Policies

Report of the Director of the Built Environment


The Sub-Committee considered a report of the Director of the Built Environment that proposed draft retailing policies for the new Local Plan.


The Director of the Built Environment provided Members with an update on the local plan.


Members discussed the draft policies outlined within report appendix 1:


Core Strategic Policy CSXX: Retailing

A Member asked how Principal Shopping Centres (PSCs) were being defined and asked if language could be included that explained this. (1)


In reference to paragraph 6, a Member asked what was meant by the phrase “detract from […] vitality of PSCs”.  The Director of the Built Environment explained that it was a judgement on whether a unit would detract from the success of other centres in its proximity.  The Member noted that if this was a judgement, rather than something clearly defined, then this was an issue.  The Director of the Built Environment explained that there were definitions, citing the 2,500m2 size threshold for a Retail Impact Assessment.


A Member asked what was meant by “retail links” and the Director of the Built Environment explained that it referred to streets linking the PSCs and linking the PSCs with transport hubs or centres in adjoining boroughs.  The Member emphasised the importance of using meaningful and clear language as far as possible.


A Member noted that there was further potential for coordination with the resident population of Islington to the North.  A Member suggested that there was a danger of over-engineering retail planning strategies in specific areas, and the focus should be on ensuring optimum design with consideration to aspects such as delivery access and allowing a greater degree of natural growth.


A Member raised their concerns about the potential for policy to lead to homogenous clustering of chain coffee shops and fast food outlets.  The Director of the Built Environment explained that A1 units concentrated in PSCs included a wide range of shops offering ‘comparison goods’ shopping opportunities. The Member noted that the City of London was not a very large geographic area and argued that there should be some degree of flexibility to consider different A1 uses to meet resident needs.


Policy DM X.X: Principal Shopping Centres

Members discussed the issue of Office developers’ reluctance to offer significant space for retail.  A Member noted the issue of frontage length and noted that licenced premises with significant frontage can have a huge impact on the local vicinity.  The Director of the Built Environment agreed to include policy encouragement for varied retail frontages (2).  A Member queried the requirement of impact assessments from developers.  The Director of the Built Environment explained that over a certain size an impact assessment was required.  The Member explained that the assessment was a very important aspect to inform decision making.


Policy DM X.X Retail Links

In reference to retail links, a Member queried how these were encouraged with Islington borough.  The Director of the Built Environment explained that a joint site visit was taking place in the week following the meeting, and that there had been collaboration with Islington around the Culture Mile. The Chairman of the Planning & Transportation Committee explained that he had had a discussion with his counterpart in Islington Council. Liaison with other boroughs is a statutory duty on the City as a planning authority under the duty to cooperate.


Policy DM X.X Ground floor retail provision elsewhere in the City

A Member asked whether the City Corporation’s policy was to allow retail development only on the ground floor of office buildings.  The Director of the Built Environment explained that retail development would be permitted on other floors if developers are able to demonstrate that there would be no adverse impact on the City’s business role.  The Chairman noted that there was still a lot of potential in the City with regards to retail.  A Member emphasised the importance of developers being kept aware of what is permitted to ensure that potential is met.


Policy DM X.X: Specialist Retail Uses and Markets

A Member requested that this policy be separated into two individual policies, one for Specialist Retail, and one for Markets.  The Sub-Committee agreed.


RESOLVED – That the policies set out within the report be agreed, taking into account Members’ comments.


Supporting documents: