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SH5  Residential Development in Small Shopping Centres and Parades in Primarily Residential Areas  Policy

Proposals for the ground floor conversion of shop units to residential use within small shopping centres and parades in Primarily Residential Areas will be permitted where the Local Planning Authority is satisfied that the benefits of the proposal outweigh the disadvantages when assessed against the following criteria:

(i) the desirability of retaining the unit in question for retail use, having regard to the function, physical condition and likely future role of the shopping centre or parade;

(ii) the impact on the amenity of neighbouring uses;

(iii) the suitability of the unit for residential use; and

(iv) the length of time the unit has been vacant and its state of repair.

Reasoned justification :

16.32 The impact of changing patterns of retailing, in particular the growth of national multiples and their increasing concentration on larger and fewer stores, has often been greatest in small shopping centres and parades. Some have declined to an extent that they no longer perform a significant role as a retail centre. In others, which appear to have a viable future, there may be individual units which have been vacant for a period of time, suggesting that the centre has achieved a degree of equilibrium and that a reduction in the number of units would not harm it’s viability. By contrast, a centre may be trading well and have no other vacant units other than that proposed for conversion. In these circumstances, it would be desirable to retain the premises in question for retail use. These and other issues such as impact on amenity will be central to the consideration of proposals for the ground
floor conversion of shop units to residential use as set out in Policy SH5.