Firstplan were instructed by Rutland County Council to provide retail policy advice in respect of their emerging Rutland Local Plan review. Following recent changes in national planning policy and the introduction of Use Class E and new permitted development rights, a full consideration of the continued robustness of the Council’s established policy approach towards its two main town centres of Oakham and Uppingham was required.
Firstplan provided a detailed, evidence-based report which updated recommendations on the physical extent of defined shopping frontages and primary shopping areas in the two town centres, and undertook detailed consideration of the robustness of all of the draft Local Plan’s retail and town centre policies, suggesting alternative wording where appropriate to reflect changes in planning policy and legislation.
Our advice also set out other measures which the Council can consider in order to support the vitality and viability of their town centres over the course of the new Local Plan period in response to changes in shopping patterns arising as a consequence of the pandemic. Our report formed part of the Local Plan Examination evidence base.