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NPPF Implications – Town centre diversification and boundary revision

Published: 10.04.19

Prompted by the continuing changes in the retail sector and the impact this is having on the urban fabric of our town centres the adopted NPPF recognises that diversification is key to the long-term vitality and viability of town centres and thereby to ‘respond to rapid changes in the retail and leisure industries’.
Accordingly, the NPPF states that planning policies should clarify ‘the range of uses permitted in such locations, as part of a positive strategy for the future of each centre’. One of the main thrusts of this chapter seems to be the compatibility of housing within a town centreenvironment, its association with a positive and responsivestrategy whose contributive factors are the definition of  primary shopping areas, and the need to review town centre boundaries against the local plan evidence base.  It is also worth noting that town centre boundaries need to respond to ‘other main town centre uses’ one of which could now be argued to be housing provision.
In essence it is the triangulation between housing provision and use, town centre boundary review and up to date primary shopping areas which react and help to from a positive future for each centre.

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