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141023 | P4 Planning Letter from Mr Bill Davidson and ING re both out of town developments PA14/00532 and PA14/02920

Via http://planning.cornwall.gov.uk:8181/rpp/showimage.asp?j=PA14/00532&inde... [please note has been put through OCR -please be sure to check the original]

Planning and Regeneration
Cornwall Council
Dolcoath Avenue
Cambourne
TR14 8SX
FAO Mr Jeremy Content
Date: 17 October 2014
Ref: 07-005
By email: jeremy.content@cornwall.gov.uk

Dear Sir

Erection of retail development comprising Class A1 and Class A3 and/or A1 units, including all associated access, servicing and infrastructure works, car parking, public realm improvements and landscaping together with enhancement works including footpaths, car parking, bird hide and landscaping to the nature reserve and surrounding land and hydrological improvement works. Hayle Shopping Park and Marsh Lane Nature Reserve Marsh Lane Hayle Cornwall TR27 5LX. (Application Ref: PA14/00532)

AND

Outline application with some matters reserved for proposed development of up to 15,539 sq.m. (gross) retail development (A1/A3), associated infrastructure, access arrangements, servicing, parking and landscaping. Hayle Rugby Club 10 Marsh Lane Hayle. Cornwall. TR27 5HX. (Application Ref: PA14/02920)

As you are aware, it has taken considerable time and expense over a number of years to kick start the regeneration of Hayle through the Hayle Harbour Development project and ING is concerned that if approved, either in isolation or together, the two applications above could result in a significant backward step for the sequentially preferable Harbour proposals.

The South Quay development is currently being constructed and the applicants dismiss this as a sequentially preferable site because it is committed. However, this misses the obvious point that the development includes three retail units (on the Foundry site) and two retail/restaurant units on South Quay that remain unlet.

The mixed use consent for North Quay includes an additional 30,000 sq ft of space suitable for retail and/or restaurant uses. These sequentially preferable units are competing for the same tenants that are being attracted to the proposed out of centre developments at the Rugby Club and by Cranford Developments.

ING ‘s major regeneration project is based on a large scale masterplan and incorporates a mix of residential and retail / commercial uses. The development will have a transformative impact on the harbour area and enhance the overall vitality and viability of Hayle town centre as a whole which will be put at risk by these out of centre proposals coming forward at this critical time, just as the first phase of the Harbour proposals are delivered.

Development Plan

The statutory development plan for the purposes for Section 38(6) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 is the saved policies of the Penwith District Local Plan 2004. The weight attached to these policies is dependent on their degree of consistency with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The PDLP 2004 adopts a sequential approach to the location of retail development (Policy TV16); seeks to maximise the use of previously developed land (Policy TV1) and focuses on prioritising development in town centres – including Hayle (Policy TV16). These policies are consistent with the NPPF.

The emerging Cornwall Local Plan is at an early stage of preparation and carries only limited weight but, in order to be deemed ‘sound’ the document will be required to comply with national policy guidance contained in the NPPF. In this regard, the plan is likely to adopt a sequential approach to the location of retail development, a presumption in favour or previously developed land and a focus on supporting the vitality and viability of town centres.

National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and Planning Practice Guide (PPG)

Paragraph 23 of the Framework sets out the objectives for town centres and identifies them as the prime location for town centre type uses including retail, leisure and office. Paragraph 24 states that the sequential approach should be applied to all planning applications for main town centre uses that are not in an existing centre and are not in accordance with an up-to-date local plan. The sequential approach is well known, but requires:

‘Main town centre uses to be located in town centres, then in edge of centre locations and only when suitable sites are not available should out of centre sites be considered. When considering edge of centre and out of centre proposals, preference should be given to accessible sites that are well connected to the town centre (paragraph 25).’

Additional guidance on the sequential test is provided in the PPG at paragraph 2b-010-20140306 which states:

‘The checklist below sets out the considerations that should be taken into account in determining whether a proposal complies with the sequential test:

  • with due regard to the requirement to demonstrate flexibility, has the suitability of more central sites to accommodate the proposal been considered? Where the proposal would be located in an edge of centre or out of centre location, preference should be given to accessible sites that are well connected to the town centre. Any associated reasoning should be set out clearly.
  • is there scope for flexibility in the format and/or scale of the proposal? It is not necessary to demonstrate that a potential town centre or edge of centre site can accommodate precisely the scale and form of development being proposed, but rather to consider what contribution more central sites are able to make individually to accommodate the proposal.’ (our emphasis)

The Cranford proposals claim that there is little room for flexibility on the basis that the funding required is dependent on an acceptable permission being achieved. They also refer to Justice Hickinbottom’s judgement in ‘R (Zurich Assurance) vs North Lincolnshire Council 2012’ where he stated that ‘It is also important to mark that developers, and planning authorities, work in the real world.’ It is ING’s submission that seeking tenants for the five new vacant units at the Harbour development is very much a real world issue, and one that could be significantly undermined by either out of centre development.

The additional 30,000 sq ft of space consented as a part of the mixed use North Quay development would also be put at risk of delay if the out of centre schemes come forward at this stage. The applicants have not demonstrated a flexible approach or considered the suitability of the ING proposals to accommodate significant elements of retail and restaurant uses.

Conclusion

Consistency with the NPPF is a key consideration in the determination of these applications. Compliance of with the sequential approach and their potential impact on the existing and emerging town centre proposals are critical.

It is essential that any development approved in an out of centre location is clearly differentiated from development proposals in the town centre. As such, ING strongly objects to both applications on the basis that they fail the sequential test. The format and scale of retail development will compete directly with the sequentially preferable sites and South and North Quay and the applicants have not demonstrated adequate flexibility their analysis or addressed the fact that there are five new units available and 30,000 sq ft of space committed that could accommodate retail / restaurants at South and North Quay.

The sequential assessment undertaken as part of the Retail Assessment lodged with the planning application for the Marsh Lane development has failed to consider the potential of the harbour area to accommodate the smaller format retail and restaurant (town centre) type uses that are proposed as part of the Marsh Lane scheme and this is contrary to the NPPF.

The Retail Assessment has also failed to adequately address the potential retail impact of the Marsh Lane scheme in terms of its potential to attract tenants at the expense of their locating to Hayle Harbour. We understand that even the proposition of an out of centre development has resulted in potential tenants delaying reaching a decision on occupation of the development at Hayle harbour.

The Hayle harbour proposals represent the most sustainable approach to the growth of the town that:

a) focuses new town centre type uses close to the existing town centre on areas of previously developed (brownfield) land; and
b) builds on the key attributes of Hayle as a waterside location and develops the quays area for retailing and leisure uses.

Such development is in accordance with the NPPF in terms of the focus on town centres and specifically accords with the sequential approach to the location of town centre type uses.

By providing comparison retailing (Use Class A1) and restaurants / cafes (Use Class A3) that our client is seeking to attract to Hayle harbour, the proposed out of centre developments jeopardise the delivery of this important regeneration scheme adjacent to the town centre. This is contrary to the NPPF which seeks to focus town centre type uses in such locations. For these reasons, the proposed development in its current form should be refused planning permission.

We trust you will have regard to this submission in your consideration of both out of centre proposals. Our client would also welcome a meeting with officers and the applicants to discuss the concerns and explore if and how their objections might be overcome. Yours faithfully

Bill Davidson Director

cc.

Mr S Clarke, ING