Ashchurch Factory Outlet Centre

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. 

 

Timeline

  • 2013

    Outline Planning Application submitted (September)

  • 2014

    Initial response to critique of Retail Assessment by the LPA’s retail consultants (March)

    Further response to comments from the LPA’s retail consultants including an assessment of cumulative impact (August)

    Sensitivity Testing including an analysis of ‘spin off’ benefits (October)

  • 2015

    Scheme revisions including revised parameter plans and Environmental Statement Addendum (April)

    Response provided to the LPA and retail consultants on employment generation issues (July)

    Meeting with LPA Officers and the newly appointed retail consultants (September)

  • 2016

    Response to comments from the LPA’s second retail consultants (March)

    First Planning Committee meeting at which it was resolved to grant planning permission for the principle of the development (March)

     

     

     

  • 2016

    Second Planning Committee meeting to consider the suggested planning conditions and S106 Agreements where the matter was deferred subject to provision of a shuttlebus service (April)

     

  • 2016

    Third Planning Committee meeting at which the application was approved subject to planning conditions and S106 Agreements. The NPCU resolved not to call the application in for the Secretary of State’s determination. (May)

    Section 106 Agreements signed and Outline Planning Permission issued (June)

1 /06
2013

Outline Planning Application submitted (September)

2014

Initial response to critique of Retail Assessment by the LPA’s retail consultants (March)

Further response to comments from the LPA’s retail consultants including an assessment of cumulative impact (August)

Sensitivity Testing including an analysis of ‘spin off’ benefits (October)

2015

Scheme revisions including revised parameter plans and Environmental Statement Addendum (April)

Response provided to the LPA and retail consultants on employment generation issues (July)

Meeting with LPA Officers and the newly appointed retail consultants (September)

2016

Response to comments from the LPA’s second retail consultants (March)

First Planning Committee meeting at which it was resolved to grant planning permission for the principle of the development (March)

 

 

 

2016

Second Planning Committee meeting to consider the suggested planning conditions and S106 Agreements where the matter was deferred subject to provision of a shuttlebus service (April)

 

2016

Third Planning Committee meeting at which the application was approved subject to planning conditions and S106 Agreements. The NPCU resolved not to call the application in for the Secretary of State’s determination. (May)

Section 106 Agreements signed and Outline Planning Permission issued (June)

Key details

Project name
Ashchurch Factory Outlet Centre

Client
Robert Hitchins Ltd

Location
Ashchurch, Tewkesbury

Services provided

  • Planning
  • EIA
  • Heritage

Challenge

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.

Ashchurch-Factory-Outlet-Centre---Project-image-(6611-PL02_INDICATIVE_MASTERPLAN).jpg

Solution

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.

Project statistics

3
number of times the application was reported to Planning Committee
30
sites assessed as part of satisfying the sequential test
48
acres, the size of the application site
60
minute catchment area of the development
1,000
estimated number of jobs which will be created on completion of the development
2,000
car parking capacity
15,696
size of the garden centre in sqm
17,545
size of the retail outlet centre in sqm

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