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Policy SD2 - Retail and

Policy SD2 - Retail and City / Town Centres 5. Key principles for development in Centres The following key principles will be drawn upon in the determination of relevant planning applications: i. New residential, retail, leisure, culture, tourism, office development and community facilities that contribute to the vitality and viability of designated centres will be promoted and supported; ii. Town centre development will be of a scale that is appropriate to its role and function as set out above and will not compromise the health of other centres or sustainable development principles; iii. Proposals that help to deliver the regeneration strategies for Gloucester City Centre, Cheltenham Town Centre and Tewkesbury town Centre will be supported; iv. The provision of new local centres of an appropriate scale to provide for the everyday needs of new communities within the identified Strategic Allocations will be permitted. 6. Proposals for retail and other main town centre uses that are not located in a designated centre, and are not in accordance with a policy in either the JCS or District plans, will be robustly assessed against the requirements of the sequential test and impact test, as set out in National Planning Policy Framework and national Planning Practice Guidance, or locally defined impact assessment thresholds as appropriate 7. Retail review Following adoption of the JCS, this policy will be subject to an immediate review. The single issue review will take approximately two years to complete. It will cover strategic planning matters relating to the three JCS authorities including issues such as a revised assessment of retail needs, market share between different designated centres, city / town centre boundaries, site allocations, primary and secondary shopping frontages and locally defined impact thresholds. Explanation 4.2.3 4.2.4 In the JCS area, there is a range of centres providing different roles and functions. The two main urban centres are Gloucester City and Cheltenham Town, which offer the widest range of shopping opportunities and attract people from a significant distance. Cheltenham town centre is a particularly strong retail centre which supports traditional high street stores alongside independent retailers and high-end boutiques and galleries; this forms an important element along with its heritage assets for tourism. As such, it performs within the sub-regional context and is second only to Bristol in the South West in terms of shopping choice on offer. It is important therefore that this is recognised, protected and, where possible, enhanced. Investment is ongoing, focused on bringing forward improvements to create better linkages between the High Street, Promenade and Lower High Street shopping areas. 4.2.5 4.2.6 Gloucester City Centre has a smaller catchment but nevertheless provides a good range of shops and is performing well for a city of its size, offering good services and facilities, along with key heritage assets of national importance such as Gloucester Cathedral, which attracts significant numbers of visitors. The JCS Retail Study identified several underlying weaknesses in Gloucester that need to be addressed. This includes a lack of significant investment in new retail floorspace over the recent past as well as connections between the centre with the wider footfall generators such as Gloucester Docks / Quays, the Cathedral and the bus / rail interchange. Gloucester, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Joint Core Strategy 2011-2031 Adopted December 2017 36

4.2.7 Gloucester City Council has an adopted ‘Regeneration and Economic Development Strategy’ (January 2016), which sets out a range of regeneration sites and priorities, many of which are already making good progress. This includes for example the King’s Quarter area, which will provide a new, modern bus station as part of an integrated public transport interchange, as well as other main town centre uses including retail and leisure. It is important these regeneration proposals are prioritised and protected from inappropriate developments elsewhere. 4.2.11 4.2.12 For Gloucester City Centre, the policy identifies the Primary Shopping Area, primary and secondary shopping frontages and the City Centre boundary, and which uses will be supported in the different locations. It also sets out the approach for proposals for retail and other main town centre uses, located outside of these areas. For centres located in Cheltenham Borough and Tewkesbury Borough, saved policies in the Local Plans will be used. Following the adoption of the JCS, this policy will be subject to an immediate review. 4.2.8 4.2.9 Tewkesbury town is an important designated centre in the JCS and the primary service centre in the Borough. However, in accordance with its status as a market town, it provides a more localised function which includes the catchment of the town and the surrounding rural hinterland. Tewkesbury has a proactive regeneration partnership which brings together public, private and community organisations to deliver economic prosperity and environmental quality for the town. The partnership works to coordinate, support and facilitate the delivery of the Tewkesbury town Centre Masterplan and projects that contribute to the future improvement of the town including the continued improvement of its retail offer. Within Tewkesbury Borough, smaller rural service centres, such as Winchcombe and Bishop’s Cleeve, provide for their residents and the residents of surrounding rural areas. Winchcombe and Tewkesbury also function as important tourist destinations. 4.2.13 4.2.14 Delivery This is a strategic-level policy that aims to set out broad principles for retail and centres across the JCS area. There are several key elements that the policy does not cover, but which will be addressed through District plans and / or city, town or rural service centre strategies. These include the allocation of non-strategic sites to provide for identified need, and the identification of locally defined thresholds for impact assessments (as necessary) and the approach towards smaller non-strategic centres. For the avoidance of doubt, references to ‘town centres’ and ‘town centre uses’ in this policy and throughout the JCS document are intended, unless otherwise stated, to apply to city centres, town centres, district centres and local centres and should be read as having the same meaning as the definition of ‘town centres’ and ‘town centre uses’ included in the NPPF. 4.2.10 The policy set out above has been prepared in the context of the NPPF and Planning Practice Guidance. It is underpinned by evidence contained in the JCS Retail Study (Phase 1, 2011) and the JCS Retail Study (2015). This identifies floorspace requirements for comparison goods (clothes, furniture etc) and convenience goods (food) for each of the main settlements identified in the hierarchy up to 2031. The Retail Study (Phase 1) also provided an analysis of the health of the different designated centres in the JCS area. This understanding of the health of the different town centres has helped to inform policy at JCS level and will also form a key part of the evidence in preparing the District plans. Gloucester, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Joint Core Strategy 2011-2031 Adopted December 2017 37

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