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Successful town centres

Local Development Plan (LDP) policies on successful town centres are listed below:

The Council will support a wide range of uses in town centres where they will help to improve the vibrancy of the centre.  All proposals should be of a scale appropriate to the size and function of the centre, taking account of the hierarchy of centres, as set out in table 3 of volume 1. (PDF 18Mb)  Development proposals within town centres will be supported by the Council where it can be fully demonstrated that they will improve and expand the retail offer within the town centre or that they will contribute positively to the:

(i) Vitality and viability of the town centre

(ii) Character and amenity of the immediate area and the town centre in general

(iii) Visual amenity of the area by providing a high quality and attractive street frontage

Proposals in the commercial centres will be supported where they comply with the role and function identified in the network of centres and where they meet the criteria listed in policy TC2.

Developments which do not meet with the provisions of policy TC1 will not receive Council support

The Council will promote town centres as the prime locations for footfall generating developments, as described in table 4 of volume 1.(PDF 18Mb) Proposals for new or expanded footfall generating developments outwith town centres will be supported only where they meet with the provisions of Policy TC3 or when the following criteria can be addressed:

(i) A robust sequential assessment has been carried out in respect of:

    (1) town centres
    (2) edge of centre locations
    (3) commercial centres
    (4) out of centre locations

    Evidence will be required as to which sequentially preferable sites have been assessed and why these have been discounted:

(ii) The applicant can demonstrate that full consideration has been given to altering or reducing the scale of the development to accommodate it within a sequentially preferable location. Consideration should be given to the potential to disaggregate large scale developments, utilising sequentially preferable gap or infill sites in a coordinated manner in preference to large single sites in out of centre locations.

(iii) The development would not unacceptably adversely affect, either individually or cumulatively, the vitality and viability of any town centre. For developments over 2,500 sqm, and in certain other cases where the Council anticipates a significant impact, a Retail Impact Analysis will be required.

Footfall generating proposals that do not meet these criteria will not be supported, unless there is an over-riding site specific locational need for the development to be located outwith the network of centres.  This would require to be evidenced by robust supporting information.

Retail and Commercial leisure developments will be required to provide public open space to the standards set out in Schedule 8 of the LDP.(PDF 18Mb)

Footfall generating uses

For the purposes of Policy TC2, footfall generating uses include the following classes within the Use Class Order:

  • Class 1 – Shops
  • Class 2 – Financial, professional and other services
  • Class 3 – Food and drink
  • Class 7 – Hotels and hostels
  • Class 10 – Non residential institutions
  • Class 11 – Assembly and Leisure
  • Sui Generis – Theatres, amusement centres, public house, hot food takeaway

The Council will support small scale Class 1 retail development outside of the network of centres, where such proposals will serve a particular rural, residential or tourist market and have a specific need to be located outside of a town centre. Specifically, the Council will support:

(i) Small scale convenience shops, to meet the day to day needs of a residential neighbourhood or rural community;

(ii) Shops attached to farms or factories, where the majority of produce sold is produced on site;

(iii) The development of tourist-related shops, where the retail element is part of a larger proposal intended to develop and enhance the local tourist market.

Applicants proposing small scale retail development in the rural area will be required to demonstrate why the proposal cannot be located within a nearby settlement boundary.

In recognising the contribution town centre living can have to the overall vitality and viability of town centres, the Council will support changes of use to residential and the development of new residential properties within the Network of Centres. 

Within Kilmarnock and Cumnock, the Council will actively support and promote residential opportunities within the town centre living boundaries.

The Council will actively encourage and support the upgrading and improvement of existing town centre environments.  Proposals that provide improvements to the streetscape, public realm, green networks and condition and appearance of existing properties will be supported.

The Council will support large scale public realm, transport and redevelopment interventions that will help to re-establish town centres as the focal point for commercial and community activities.  In particular, interventions that are proposed in the Placemaking section of the LDP (PDF 18Mb) will be supported.

The above uses will be directed to town centres as set out in the network of centres. It should be ensured that all proposals:

(i) Do not have a detrimental effect on the amenity of adjacent properties, in terms of noise, litter, odour or any other disturbance

(ii) Are of an appropriate visual appearance, with particular regards to the shop front, illuminated signage and the siting and design of any flue extraction system

(iii) Do not result in an over-concentration of hot food takeaways in a particular area, to the detriment of the overall character and amenity of the area.

Contact Information

Planning & Economic Development
Telephone: 01563 576790