Policy RET4 Rural Shops and Roadside Service Facilities
There will be a general presumption against the development of retail facilities in the countryside.
However, a proposal for a new or extended shop in the countryside (outside settlement limits) may be considered on its merits where:
It is of modest floorspace and is largely incorporated within the existing building; and
It falls into one of the following retail types:
craft shops; or
shops serving tourist or recreational facilities.
Roadside Service Facilities
Development of roadside service facilities in the open countryside will only be accepted if:
there is a clear indication of need and no unacceptable adverse impact upon the viability and vitality of an existing centre within the retail catchment; and
a new proposal is located along a motorway or a high standard dual carriageway at least 12 miles from an existing or approved roadside service facility located on the strategic road network; and
there is no prejudice to road safety; and
new retail floorspace or extension to existing retail floorspace will be modest and ancillary to the selling of fuel. Office uses will not be permitted.
All proposals must meet the General Policy and accord with other provisions of the LDP.
Justification and Amplification
In keeping with the ‘Town Centre first approach’, retailing will be directed to the town centres and the development of inappropriate retail facilities in the countryside will be resisted. However, some retail facilities may be considered appropriate outside of settlement limits such as farm or craft shops, shops serving tourist or recreational facilities or shops ancillary to petrol filling stations. Such retail facilities should mostly be contained within existing buildings and there must be no unacceptable adverse impact on the viability and vitality of an existing centre within the catchment.
Proposals for roadside service facilities are usually linked to the selling of petrol. It is considered reasonable to expect a driver to travel at least 12 miles along a motorway or high standard dual carriageway before reaching a petrol filling station or service centre. Proposals for the development of new service facilities within 12 miles of an existing petrol station or service centre will therefore not be permitted, as the route is considered to be already adequately served. However, a proposal for the extension of facilities at an existing or approved filling station may be considered where it is of modest in size and ancillary to the selling of fuel. The increase of stand-alone retail units such as fast food units, florists and off-licenses are often associated with larger petrol filling station development and has the potential to have a negative impact on the viability of existing retail provision offered within our town centres. Therefore, the Council considers that proposals for extensions to such retail floorspace must be of such a scale and nature so as not to cause a significant impact on other centres. Office uses will not be permitted, other than those considered ancillary to the retail unit or the selling of fuel, such as a manager’s office. Proposals including a petrol brand totem pole signs must comply with Policy AD1 The Control of Advertisements.
Development proposals likely to prejudice road safety or the free flow of traffic on a strategic route will not be permitted.
The General Policy criteria relating to rural development will be important in the assessment of proposals for rural shops and roadside service facilities and associated car parking, in order to ensure satisfactory integration into the landscape.