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SH8  Criteria for Shop Fronts  Policy

Proposals which include provision for new shop fronts will be permitted when the Local Planning Authority is satisfied that the benefits of the proposal outweigh the disadvantages when assessed against the following criteria:

(i) company colours, logos, and advertising should be designed and applied with reference to the character of the area, the building concerned and its neighbours;

(ii) in older shopping streets, existing traditional shop front features should be restored or replicated, where possible, using traditional materials and respecting the dimensions of the original;

(iii) security shutters should be partly or wholly of a perforated design and must be painted rather than left in a raw galvanised state - if possible, the shutter housing should be accommodated behind the fascia; and

(iv) all new-build shop fronts should be fully accessible by disabled people, with level shop fronts and wide doorways - when installing new shop fronts in existing buildings, opportunities should be taken to remove and reduce steps while taking into account the character of the building and the area.

Reasoned justification :

16.37 A well-designed and attractive shop front projects an image of quality which not only reflects upon the goods and services provided inside, but also makes a positive contribution to the street scene and the vitality of a commercial area. The development of corporate identities for shops with branches all over the Country has played a significant part in eroding the variety which often characterised individual shopping centres. Corporate identify should be applied with reference to the character of the building on which it is imposed, and of the area in which the building stands.

16.38 Adequate security is an important factor in ensuring the continued well-being of a commercial area and measures to achieve it are an important consideration. However, the use of galvanised shutters with prominent projecting shutter boxes is visually unattractive. Policy SH8 thus seeks to strike a compromise between the need for security and maintaining an attractive street scene.

16.39 Traditional shop front features such as stall risers, stall boards, pilasters and wooden fascia boards evolved during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and contributed to a very effective design. Where possible, these features should be retained or replicated in new shop fronts in older shopping areas, although it is acknowledged that stall risers and stall boards originally intended as means of laying out goods at a suitable height for inspection have been rendered largely obsolete by changing methods of retailing.

16.40 Finally it is important that all new shop fronts are accessible to disabled people. A separate shop front guide specifically aimed at shops in older traditional shopping centres has been produced by the Council and is reproduced in full in Supplementary Planning Guidance Note 43. Special considerations may apply to Conservation Areas and Listed Buildings.