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PGS: Large retail outlets

The Society's task is to encourage thriving and viable town centres whether they be in the smaller Chiltern towns or in the larger conurbations.

Support should be given to the enhancement of shopping facilities and other appropriate uses to ensure that as far possible, vibrant and interesting town and village centres are maintained without any loss of their identity. The Society should positively question any proposals, which in their view could lead to the serious decline of any of the Chiltern town centres.

This guidance statement is aimed as an aid for the use by PFOs who are dealing with an application for a Large Retail Outlet anywhere in the Chilterns Area. It should be applied to any retail development that is likely to have a significant impact on the area in which it is proposed, particularly in terms of movements of people and goods, and on the character of its surroundings.


Aspects of the proposal to be verified should include:

The proposal should respond to a perceived need of the local community

Use of brownfield sites preferred. Any such development proposal on Green Belt sites or in the AONB to be strongly resisted.

The suitability of the road system to deal with the increased volume of traffic, both of cars and goods vehicles, generated by the development. Provisions for non-motorised shoppers - close to public transport stops and routes.

Car Parking
Adequacy of parking facilities for anticipated volume of shoppers at peak periods

The proposed development should be in harmony with its surroundings, be aesthetically pleasing, and not detract from the general appearance of the area.
The choice of external building materials should be compatible with those used in the area, and if appropriate refer to the Chilterns Building Design Guide produced by the Chilterns Conservation Board.

Impact on local residents
The development should aim to minimise this.

It is recommended that PFOs do not, normally, get involved in non-planning matters, such as:
• Competition between rival retail outlets
• Competitive pressures on small retailers
• Range of products being handled

This list is not comprehensive, and the PFO should use their knowledge and experience when assessing a proposal, and, if necessary, consult with the Area Convenor.

Prepared by MJ 02.06.06 Updated- Convenor's meeting 01.07.10 (replaces Policy on Superstores dated 04.04.03)


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The Chiltern Society Planning Group monitors all parishes in the Chilterns.