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SH2  Criteria for Development in Traditional Suburban Centres  Policy

Within the Traditional Suburban Centres listed below, proposals falling within Class A1, Class A2 and Class A3 of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987, will be permitted subject to satisfying the following criteria:

(i) the proposal, together with other recent or proposed development does not undermine the vitality and viability of any Key Town Centre or Traditional Suburban Centre as a whole or other town centre outside the Borough boundary;

(ii) the proposal does not generate traffic in excess of that which can be accommodated by the existing or proposed highway network;

(iii) the proposal meets highway access and servicing requirements and includes off-street car parking in line with Policy TR9 and cycle parking in line with Policy TR12;

(iv) the siting, scale, design, choice of materials and landscaping is not detrimental to the character of the area;

(v) proposals for Class A2 uses should incorporate the provision of a shop front and permanent window display;

(vi) the proposal does not cause nuisance to neighbouring uses or lead to loss of amenity, as a result of noise and disturbance, on-street parking or delivery vehicles - where necessary, a suitable condition will be imposed on hours of opening/ operation;

(vii) where a proposal for Class A3 use is located on a street containing similar establishments, cumulative levels of noise and disturbance, from both the existing and proposed activities, should not exceed a level likely to be detrimental to the amenity of the area;

(viii) proposals for Class A3 uses should include measures to mitigate smells and internally-generated noise - these measures should not be visually intrusive in the street scene and should be fully installed before the business commences trading.

Small-scale uses falling within Class D1 may also be appropriate subject to Policy RE10.

The Centres to which Policy SH2 applies are:

1. Wallasey Village
2. Upton Village
3. Tranmere (Old Chester Road)
4. Prenton (Borough Road)
5. Claughton Village
6. Lower Bebington
7. Seacombe (Borough Road/ Poulton Road)
8. New Brighton (Victoria Road)
9. New Brighton (Seabank Road)
10. Birkenhead (Grange Road West)
11. Birkenhead (Oxton Road)
12. Laird Street
13. Dacre Hill (Bebington Road/ Old Chester Road)
14. Irby Village

Reasoned justification :

16.23 Traditional Suburban Centres perform an important role for day-to-day shopping in particular and may act as the focus for weekly shopping for those who are less mobile. In general, the centres listed under Policy SH2 meet the following minimum requirements:

- the centre comprises at least 20 units;
- key shops are present, such as a post office, chemist, butcher, greengrocer/ general store, baker and newsagent;
- the centre has a discrete catchment area;
- the centre is located on a major traffic route, accessible by public transport.

16.24 While the size and composition of a centre is not a guarantee of trading success, those with more than twenty units and the presence of key shops are better placed to meet the challenges that new forms of retailing can present. Many of the centres listed additionally have other “attractors” such as a library, health centre, Council Office or leisure facility. All have a more locally discrete catchment area and form part of a clear hierarchy of retailing provision in the Borough. As with the Key Town Centres, the main emphasis will be on selective redevelopment, extension and modernisation.

16.25 Within the Traditional Suburban Centres outlined above, the same planning principles apply in respect of Class A1, Class A2 and Class A3 uses as in the Key Town Centres listed in Policy SH1. Small-scale Class D1 uses, such as a health centre or library may also be appropriate. The smaller Traditional Suburban Centres are generally much closer to residential areas: some for example, have retail uses only on one side of an otherwise residential road. Hence, uses which may operate late into the night or which could potentially generate high levels of noise and disturbance could potentially have a far more serious effect on residential amenity: such activities should thus be directed to the larger Key Town Centres highlighted in Policy SH1.

16.26 An important consideration when assessing any proposal for retail development is it’s impact on the vitality and viability of existing Key Town Centres and Traditional Suburban Centres, including the centre in which the proposal is located, both within the Borough and elsewhere.

16.27 In assessing vitality and viability, particular regard will be had to: the trade draw and market share of the proposal; the impact on future levels of investment, on vacancy levels and the physical condition of the centre(s), impact on the range of services provided in the centre(s), on any current and proposed urban regeneration initiatives in the centre(s); and the cumulative impact of the proposal with other recent or proposed retail development.

16.28 The Local Planning Authority may request a statement of retail impact from the developer, where it considers that this would be of assistance in assessing the impact of a proposed new retail development.