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In determining development proposals which include retail and other town centre uses including, new floorspace changes of use of existing floorspace, variations in planning conditions and obligations and also extensions of existing units the LPAs will consider the following matters:
1. Proposals will be assessed in relation to their support for the spatial strategy of the local plan and the sequential hierarchy of centres. Proposals within identified centres should be of a scale appropriate to the role of the centre.
2. Proposals for main town centre uses in edge of centre and out of centre locations should be supported by a sequential test that demonstrates flexibility in its assessment and that there are no other sequentially preferable suitable and available sites within or on the edge of an appropriate centre within the hierarchy of centres. This sequential approach is not applicable to applications for small scale rural offices or other small scale rural development.
3. Proposals for retail, leisure and office development in edge of centre and out of centre locations must be accompanied by an impact assessment where the floorspace exceeds the thresholds set out below. Any proposal which would have a significant adverse impact on the investment in and/or the vitality and viability of an existing centre or prejudice the deliverability or investment in a proposed centre will not be permitted.
i. Retail development creating new or additional floorspace greater than 500 square metres (gross) in the Plymouth Policy Area.
ii. Retail development creating new or additional floorspace greater than 250 square metres (gross) in the Thriving Towns and Villages Policy Area.
iii. Leisure and office development creating new or additional floor space greater than 2,500 sq.m.(gross).
4. For bulky goods retail provision a limited amount of out of centre retail floorspace will be permitted only where it is robustly demonstrated that it relates to a format of store which has particular market and locational requirements which can only be accommodated in specific locations and cannot be located in the City Centre or another centre in the retail hierarchy. This floorspace will be closely controlled in terms of size of units, range of goods and overall amount of floorspace, and will only be permitted if it is shown through a retail impact assessment that there is no significant adverse impact on the investment in and/or the vitality and viability of any other centre, existing or proposed. Consideration will also be given to how a scheme can improve the appearance and accessibility of the area
5. Limited development of main town centre uses including retail may be permitted within Plymouth's core tourism areas, including the waterfront area, provided that they are complementary to the role of Plymouth City Centre and other centres and specifically support the visitor economy of these destinations.
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