We are asking that the Council include 'Shop Neighbourhood' as Open for Consideration under the RW land use Objective. This will give the planners the scope to assess and evaluate each application at these locations on their merit and suitability in a developing environment. It has been the case that retail has evolved hugely in the last few years and Covid has actually highlighted the importance of these types of retail offering where there is the space to social distance and each unit has their own dedicated entrance.
More than ever 'bricks and mortar', store based retailing needs the encouragement and support of the Council to combat the wave of internet/mail order type shopping that has become the 'norm' and preferred way to shop for many during the recent lockdowns.
The inclusion of this use class as being Open for Consideration merely acknowledges that retail is a flexible and an ever evolving business and facilitates the planning authority considering all applications in the context of the built environment, user mix, and allowing the potential to support complimentary uses at the retail location where appropriate.
It is worth note that the REGEN zoning, under this draft 2022-2028 plan, includes both Retail Warehouse and Shop Neighbourhood as Open for Consideration acknowledging that these uses are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
What we are seeking here is a minimal change to the RW matrix that is in keeping with the established development pattern at the Fonthill and Avoca sites and cognisant of the precedent already established by previous planning grants.