Local Centre

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We are proposing a full planning application to enable the development of a small Local Centre at the junction of Leopold Road and Melrose Road.

The Local Centre comprises of 5 no. small scale retail and service units at an appropriate scale to meet the day-to-day needs of a walk-in catchment population that is already resident within an 800m radius or 10-minute walk-time of the site.

It is a fact that the majority of existing residents either walk excessive distances, cycle or drive by motor car to other centres or out-of-town food retail stores to meet their day-to-day retail or service needs.

The application proposals are designed to supplement and develop existing Local Centre functions already present about the area immediately surrounding the application site.

The application proposals provide for the development of 5 no. small scale units to be occupied by tenants within the A1 (retail), A2 (financial and professional), A3 (restaurant and cafes), B1a (office), D1 (non residential institutions) and D2 (assembly and leisure) use classes. The units are designed to be a suitable size to accommodate convenience shops and services:

The applicant does not propose the occupancy of any of the convenience units proposed by general food retailers or newsagents. This approach will ensure that no adverse impact results from the scheme upon the existing One Stop convenience store.

The applicant is seeking planning permission to enable the occupation of the convenience units proposed by appropriately scaled end users within the A1, A2, A3, B1, C1 and C2 use classes. The applicant is prepared to accept a restrictive condition that only enables occupation of individual units proposed by the following types of retailers or services:

• Greengrocers;
• Butchers;
• Bakers;
• Hairdressers;
• Laundrette;
• Post Office;
• Pharmacy;
• Bank or Building Society;
• Dry Cleaners;
• Funeral Directors;
• Off-license;
• Video Store;
• Gymnasium;
• Estate Agents;
• Accountants;
• Bookmakers;
• Doctors or Dentists Surgery;
• Café;
• Travel Agency;
• Sandwich Bar;
• Offices.

We would argue that although the existing One Stop convenience store at the intersection of Waldeck and Leopold Roads provides local shopping it is not sufficiently attractive in terms of the retail offer to significantly reduce car reliance locally.

The current proposal seeks to improve the convenience and service offer available and to create a critical mass of convenience use that is sufficiently attractive to prevent people living locally travelling by motor car to other retailing locations.

The submitted scheme is designed to begin to positively change the way the residents of this part of Eaton move about their local area. If allowed this scheme will certainly change the travel patterns of local residents once they realize that day-to-day shopping is more convenient than supermarket shopping and has the further benefit of enabling social inclusion and interaction.

The real benefit however will be experienced not by today’s adults but by the children of today’s adults whose travel patterns are not yet shaped and their children who will accept from an early age that there is no need to make unnecessary vehicle trips to access convenience shops and services.

Please note that the scheme is designed to be attractive only to persons within walking distance of the site and the need exists as there is a physical gap in retail and service provision in this location.

Readers should note that there didn't used to be as much of a gap in shopping and service provision in this location historically. It wasn’t until the 80,000 sq. ft major out-of-town food store, including clothing and pharmacy sales, opened a short drive from the site at Harford Bridge some 16 years ago that the retail and service offer declined in this then established walk-in service centre.

The need for shops and services in this location is actually demonstrated by the continued presence of the One Stop and the ever expanding range of goods and services on offer within. The deficiency in retail and service provision locally is actually demonstrated by the expansion of the range of goods available within the store over recent years and its recent acquisition by Tesco.

We are trying to develop a range of shops and services at an appropriate scale that are attractive to pedestrians and able to share patronage with each other.

In respect of a small bank or cash point, if one is provided locally people resident about the local area will not travel by car to get cash elsewhere, the same applies with a dry cleaners and bookmakers, etc.

It is logical that an appropriately scaled doctors and dentists surgery would be a real benefit to local residents, especially those with mobility impairments who cannot cycle elsewhere. This is of course provided that they are at an appropriate scale and do not draw clients from beyond a reasonable walk time of the site.

It has never been the intention of the applicant to compete with the One Stop food retail store for trade. It is actually our intention to develop and reinforce a community centre or focus for the benefit of everyone locally including existing retailers and publicans.

The One Stop is physically constrained in space terms by adjoining uses and I am sure would expand its range further to meet the day to day needs of local residents if it were able. Readers must note that car ownership locally is high and people are already leaving the area by car to access shops and services not available at the One-Stop.

The scheme is not designed to draw car based trade from the surrounding road network. The scheme is designed to promote foot patronage and this will be achieved through the mix proposed, restricting the size of unit proposed to a minimum and by deliberately restricting parking provision.

If you ensure through good design that the offer is not sufficiently well developed to be attractive to a person driving along the road network locally and ensure that the same person is aware that they are not able to park once they arrive at the new centre they will likely drive to alternative wholly car accessible destination such as Tesco.

More information can be found in the following PDF files.

Frequently Asked Questions
Design & Access Statements
What is the scheme all about
Summary flyer

For further information or for specific questions, please call Philip Atkinson on 07979 420938 or use the below form to send us a message.