Director - Planning
RPS secured outing planning permission for a major new retail and leisure development situated at Junction 9 of the M5, comprising a factory outlet centre and accompanying garden centre. The scheme was approved by Tewkesbury Borough Council following a decision by the National Planning Casework Unit (NPCU) not to ‘call in’ the application.
Ashchurch Factory Outlet Centre
Robert Hitchins Ltd
The principal challenge was to secure outline planning permission for a large retail development with no named operators on an out-of-centre site.
A lengthy determination period also presented challenges in terms of the need to address new issues raise by the LPA and changes in circumstance. This included the need to produce a number of sensitivity assessments on retail issues to satisfy two sets of LPA appointed retail consultants.
The interest of neighbouring authority, Gloucester City Council, in the application given the Gloucester Quays factory outlet centre further complicated matters. The application was referred to the Secretary of State/NPCU to decide whether to call it in.
Progressing the application simultaneous to progressing representations to the Joint Core Strategy and appearing at the Examination Hearings also raised challenges.
RPS led the planning process, co-ordinating a large team of consultants, and negotiating with Local Planning Authority (LPA) officers and interested parties to address concerns. We also produced the supporting Retail Assessment, which included a detailed Retail Impact Assessment and a Sequential Sites Assessment.
We provided detailed input to the S106 Agreement regarding a suitable package of mitigation measures particularly in respect of Tewkesbury Town Centre. We also appeared at the Gloucester, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Joint Core Strategy Examination on behalf of the client.
Lengthy discussions were held with the LPA’s retail consultants over the wording of the planning conditions to reflect the relatively unique nature of the retail proposition. We produced a detailed written response on the officer’s report to promote the benefits of the proposals and persuade committee members to grant planning permission.
The Secretary of State/NPCU determined that the application was not ‘of more than local significance’ and therefore resolved not to call the application in; thereby leaving Tewkesbury Borough Council to issue the planning permission.
RPS successfully persuaded the Joint Core Strategy Examining Inspector to allocate the site for retail and employment uses in the emerging development plan.
Your contact information:
All fields are mandatory *