Out of Town Retail Development
29 November 2018
Reserved Matters Application relating to planning permission 16/02082/OUT for the first phase of development (the eastern area of the outline planning permission) consisting of 1,727sqm discount food store (A1 food retail), 929sqm (A1 food retail), 2,974sqm (A1 non-food retail), 697sqm (external open garden centre), 471 sqm (A1/A3), 240sqm restaurant/drive through (A3/A5), with associated access, car parking, service area, landscaping and infrastructure works.
Land South of Regents Drive, REM/03945/REM
In July 2016 Prudhoe Town Council supported ‘in principle’ the outline planning application for a retail development at Low Prudhoe, at the same time they supported the outline planning application for a Town Centre Retail Development, ref. 16/02083/OUT. In considering their response the council appreciated that the ‘out of town’ retail development was a positive investment in the town and would reduce the outflow of trade to other locations, however, they stipulated that the Town Centre Retail Development should be given priority over an ‘out of town’ development as this would be best for the town.
At last night’s meeting the ‘reserved matters’ for the ‘out of town’ retail development was considered and the council, like members of the public, were able to read more detailed information relating to the type and scale of retail outlets expected at Low Prudhoe, including the infrastructure, landscape, elevations and design and access statement. This included a possible Aldi, KFC drive-through/restaurant, a non-food retail outlet with external garden centre, a further food retail outlet and five smaller mixed-use outlets; all with associated parking.
Members of the council were conflicting in their views, in the main the effect that the development could have on the Front Street with examples of cases where ‘out of town’ retail developments had a detrimental impact and town centre footfall suffered. At the same time, members applauded Front Street traders and their determination and survival over the years; where many towns feel the impact of empty shops, Prudhoe does not. It was discussed that Prudhoe Front Street is also moving towards being more than shopping alone; there is a growing element of non-retail businesses, community and social venues adding to the shopping offer.
The Town Council agreed to object to the development, by a marginal vote of 5 in favour/4 against, for reasons of the impact of the development on the town centre, again stating that the outline permission given for the town centre development (16/02083/OUT), as asserted in July 2016, should be the primary consideration for the good of the town.
Members were mindful that their objection was likely to have little impact in view that outline planning permission has been approved and put forward suggestions for section 106 agreements that Northumberland County Council should seek to agree with the developer. These were:
An Employment and Skills Plan (ESP) to align the opportunities for skills and jobs with residents, most specifically those in need of training and employment, and/or funding to equip residents with the required skills.An ESP could include making available locally; apprenticeships, employment and training initiatives, maximising local labour and work experience.
A Litter Strategy to mitigate against the additional litter that comes with fast food outlets.
A Local Travel Plan to ensure a town bus service is made available allowing all residents access to the development, not just car drivers.
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