Planning Policy Statement 4 was published yesterday, and replaces Planning Policy Guidance Note 4 on Industrial, Commercial Development and Small Firms, Planning Policy Guidance 5 on Simplified Planning Zones, Planning Policy Statement 6 on Planning for Town Centres, and the economic development sections of Planning Policy Statement 7 on Sustainable Development in Rural Areas.
This is a significant publication that will add further protection to the economic development of town centres. A tougher ‘impact test’ is being introduced that replaces the previous ‘needs test’. The Government hopes that this will now give Councils better control over larger developments that could put town centres at risk. Development that could harm town centres will now be assessed against key factors including climate change, impact on the high street, consumer choice, consumer spending and jobs.
This guidance has the potential to affect a number of key development sites in Cheltenham, and should you need any site specific advice please contact us.
A copy of PPS4 can also be found here.