LPP2: Site Allocations and Development Management Policies

Town Centres and Primary Shopping Areas

5.11  Local Plan Part 2 defines the extent of town centres including their Primary Shopping Areas. The Primary Shopping Areas reflect the main concentration of retail development within town centres. These areas are critical for the attractiveness of the town centres.

5.12  The NPPF supports the need to clearly define the extent of town centres and primary shopping areas and to make clear which uses are acceptable in such locations. However, permitted development rights allow some changes of use without the need for planning permission.

5.13  Policy TCS1: Town Centres in Local Plan Part 1 supports a sequential approach for proposals involving new retail and other main town centre uses outside of the Primary Shopping Areas and town centres. This Policy seeks to protect retail and other town centre uses in suitable locations.

5.14  Primary Shopping Areas have been identified within the town centre areas of Farnham, Godalming, Haslemere (including Wey Hill) and Cranleigh. Primary Shopping Areas are where retail development is concentrated within the town centres. Local Plan Part 1 Policy TCS1 states that the Primary Shopping Areas will be the main focus for new retail uses and seeks to protect retail uses within these defined areas.

5.15  Waverley Town Centres Retail Study Update (2013) identified the Primary Shopping Areas. To ensure the existing evidence was appropriate and up-to-date, surveys were carried out to identify any changes in the retail offer that had occurred since the 2013 Study. In defining the Primary Shopping Areas, the same approach was used in accordance with the original study with consideration given to other factors. These other factors include footfall but primarily the location of units, in that a unit may not necessarily currently be in a retail use, but its location is nevertheless considered to be within the key area for shopping.

5.16  Changes to the town centre boundary in Farnham have been made in order to align with the town centre boundary identified in the Farnham Neighbourhood Plan and an update to the Haslemere town centre boundary has also been made.