Ireland - Services


Retail Planning

RPS has a long-established track record for successfully supporting clients in the retail sector. We offer comprehensive and innovative advice, providing a bespoke, cost-effective and efficient service.

Our dedicated team of retail planners have the technical ability and experience to ensure overall project success. We strive to stay ahead of the market and the planning legislation that shapes it. We provide planning advice on all forms of retail including regional shopping centres, specialist markets, mixed-use town centre regeneration projects, retail warehouse parks and stand alone retail units and other town centre uses.

As a trusted advisor to a number of the countries leading public companies, fund managers and retail operators with major land holdings and property portfolios both within and outside town centres, we have built up a wealth of expertise and experience, acting for a wide range of clients.

With NPPF making retail assessments a standard requirement for larger schemes, we are well placed to help demonstrate projects pass those tests and provide clients with the right advice that will see them maximise the value from their developments. Using skills necessary to address the technical aspects of capacity assessment, sequential approach and impact we can advise on the appropriate scale of development, the best approach to location and the impact consequences of development. We also have extensive experience in providing expert witness at public inquiries and promoting sites through the strategic planning system.

Our Retail Planning Services include:

Site Assessment

Retail Capacity Assessment

Socio-economic profiling

Retail Assessments

Bespoke Assessments

Town Centre Audits/Health checks

Sequential Site Analysis

Market Research Surveys

Comparative Analysis

Qualitative Appraisal Benchmark Testing.

Case Studies



Bury St Edmunds

Lookers Plc

Through extensive community consultation, RPS secured planning permission to build an Aldi foodstore on an out-of-centre site.

As the site was not in a preferred location, the Council refused any pre-application discussions, however after extensive community consultation RPS submitted a planning application for consideration. The application included a Planning Statement, Statement of Community Involvement, Design and Access Statement, Transport Assessment and Retail Report.

Despite the site being vacant for ten years, the landowner and a rival discount food retailer objected to the application on the basis of a nearby proposed development. We successfully argued against the objections and received support from the Council and local Ward Member who requested the application be considered at Committee.

An updated Retail Study delayed the application but we successfully submitted comments to the new Retail Study and argued that the application site was available for development unlike the objector’s favoured site. After in-depth negotiation, the Council conceded that, in policy terms, the application site was sequentially the best available site and recommended to approve the application.

Members of the Development Control Committee voted unanimously in favour of giving planning permission subject to conditions and a S106 agreement.

Camden Lock Village

Camden Lock Village

Camden Town

Stanley Sidings Ltd

RPS provided retail planning advice in support of the redevelopment of the Camden Canal Market situated within the heart of Camden Town.

The proposed scheme comprises a mixed-use development including a replacement market, cafés, restaurants, a cinema together with ‘local’ unit shops, workshops and employment uses, residential and a new school.

Planning permission was granted subject to the completion of a legal agreement.  RPS, working as part of a multi-disciplinary team, prepared a detailed Retail Assessment. The Assessment examined the scale, nature and type of retail floorspace proposed and its compatibility and relationship with the unique character of Camden Town which is host to a number of world famous markets. This character is afforded protection by a number of policies set out in the development plan.

We were able to demonstrate that the proposed scheme will maintain and enhance the vitality and viability of Camden Town thereby preserving its attraction as a major tourist destination but also providing for the needs of local people in the form of local shops and services.

Co-op Foodstore

Co-op Foodstore


Anglia Regional Co-operative Society

RPS submitted an application for a Co-op foodstore in an out-of-centre location.

The store will have a sales area of around 12,000ft2 with around 20% of the floor area given over to comparison sales. The store is proposed as part of a mixed use scheme alongside a funeral parlour (A1).

The Co-op foodstore proposed on this site is intended to provide for the needs of Littleport through a larger store with ample free car parking and a wider range of goods. It is envisaged that through this store local people may be encouraged to shop within Littleport instead of the larger stores in nearby settlements.

Lying in an out-of-centre location the application was supported by a Retail Assessment looking at need, impact and the availability of sequentially preferable sites.




RPS was responsible for the preparation, management and submission of the retail impact statement on behalf of IKEA to provide a new and landmark retail development in Ballymun, Dublin 9.

The assessment was based on an estimated design year of 20I0, by which time it was anticipated to be constructed have established its position within the retail hierarchy.

Our assessment involved the following:

Policy context, sequential siting, capacity, catchment of the proposed IKEA store of some 30,500 sqm gross retail floor space

Current Retailing Provision Study. The role and function of other stores selling IKEA type goods within the Greater Dublin Area

Retail Capacity: The issue is the capacity for additional floor space over and above that which is currently provided

Retail Impact: The likely retail impact of the development on the existing comparison provision. The assessment is based on a target year of 2010.

Marks & Spencers

Marks & Spencers

Wolstanton Retail Park, Newcastle-under-Lyme

Marks & Spencer Group and McLagan Investments Ltd

RPS co-ordinated and submitted a planning application and prepared a Retail Impact Assessment for an extension to the Wolstanton Retail Park providing a major new retail store.

The scheme involves the construction of a new two-storey 140,000ft2 Marks & Spencer store, improvements to the existing car park and comprehensive new landscaping. The new store will serve a catchment area that extends beyond the Newcastle/Stoke conurbation and will complement existing Asda, Homebase and Matalan stores on the Wolstanton Retail Park.

We submitted a detailed application and despite the development involving a significant amount of new out-of-centre shopping floorspace, negotiations with both Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council and Stoke-on-Trent City Council succeeded in gaining both officer and member support, despite both Council’s being actively involved in promoting new retail development as part of regeneration schemes in each of their respective town and city centres.

We worked closely with the client from the initial feasibility stage through the preparation, submission and approval of the detailed planning application.



Stratford City, London

Westfield Shoppingtowns Ltd

RPS provided planning support for Europe's largest urban shopping centre, one of the largest urban regeneration projects in the UK.

We have been involved in this mixed-use project since the start securing outline planning permission and continually providing strategic planning advice and dedicated project management to ensure the development was delivered on time.

We has secured planning consents for the majority of the built structure, including the main shopping mall and the two anchor stores, being a John Lewis and a Marks & Spencer. The quantum of development secured amounts to approximately 160,000m2 of retail floorspace, 26,300m2 of leisure floorspace, 12,200m2 of Grade A office floorspace and 28,400m2 of hotel floorspace.

The development was subject of intense consultation not only with the general public, but also independent panels in order that the development secured high quality design, access for all and high standards in environmental sustainability.

Together with the above consents, RPS have secured key infrastructure, comprising roads, bridges and high quality pedestrian realm, complemented by soft landscaping, ‘digital’ art and appropriate way finding to ensure the area is integrated with its surrounding neighbours, such as the Olympic Park (Queen Elizabeth Park).