Breckland Retail Study 2014 (Agenda item 9)
Report of the Planning Policy Team Leader.
The Breckland Retail Study (Appendix A) is attached as a separate document.
The document had been amended in accordance with Members’ requests made at the previous meeting. The changes that had been made had been highlighted at section 2 of the report.
Councillor Duigan felt that the towns should be considered separately. The Planning Policy Team Leader felt that this was an area that Members and Officers could work on together and there was an option of preparing a town centre strategy which had been highlighted in a question in the Issues and Options document.
The Chairman highlighted a further amendment that was needed on pages 109 and 110 of the Retail Study document in relation to motorcycle sales – page 109 contradicted the information that had been included on page 110. It was agreed that this error would be changed prior to the document being published.
Referring to the study zone areas on page 69 of the document, Councillor Kiddle-Morris asked how this had been put together in relation to the zones for Thetford and Diss. Members were informed that this information had been based on a telephone survey response. Councillor North said that she appreciated the town centre maps but in her opinion there were still a number of anomalies on pages 114/115 of the document in table 3. It was agreed that she would send updated survey data to the Planning Policy Team Leader after the meeting and they would discuss how to include this information.
Referring to page 20 of the document under section 4.6 where it stated that “the study area is sub-divided into five zones”, Councillor Kiddle-Morris pointed out that the study area had actually been sub-divided into six zones and asked for this adjustment to be made.
Councillor Turner referred Members to page 99 of the document where it stated that survey respondents would shop more often in Thetford Town Centre if more/cheaper car parking was available. She had been very surprised at this response as all parking was free in Breckland and you could not get much cheaper than that. The Planning Policy Team Leader said that this had been the perception of the people surveyed. Councillor Cowen felt that Members would pick this up at some point and suggested removing the word ‘cheaper’ altogether.
Councillor Martin hoped that the yellow line on the Attleborough Town Centre map would be expanded.
Councillor Darby referred to page 102 of the document in relation to the column being left blank for the number of charity, second hand shops in 2010 and felt that the word ‘unknown’ should be put there instead.
The Chairman queried the meaning of the average sales density figures on page 29 of the Retail Study document particularly in relation to Watton. Members were informed that Watton and Attleborough sales densities were relatively higher than the other market towns because these town centres predominately had small high street shop units with limited sales areas but trading at a higher density.
RESOLVED that subject to the aforementioned amendments being incorporated the findings of the Study be endorsed and the revised Retail Study be accepted.