VALP Further Main Modifications
Representation ID: 3898
Respondent: Mr David Vowles
Legally compliant? Yes
Policy E6 should be rewritten to reflect better the fundamental changes made in the use class order.
Replace Policy E6 as follows:
“E6 shop and business frontages.
Within the defined primary shopping frontages in town centres (as shown on the policies map and the Buckingham Neighbourhood Development Plan (2015)) at ground floor level, only class E uses, changes of use from class E which are permitted development and accesses to upper and lower floors will be permitted.
Where new class E uses are permitted, a window and entrance should be provided or retained which related well to the design of the building and to the street scene and its setting. Regard should be given to the Aylesbury Vale Design SPD.
Development within secondary frontages.
Within the defined secondary shopping frontages (as shown on the policies map and the Buckingham Neighbourhood Development Plan (2015)) at ground floor level only the following uses will be permitted:
a) class E;
b) laundrettes, betting shops, pay day loan shops, public houses, wine bars, or other drinking establishments, including such establishments with expanded food provision, hot food takeaways and amusement arcades, provided not more than two such uses occupy adjoining premises (disregarding intervening accessways) and provided the development would not cause significant harm to local amenities by reason of smell, noise or anti-social behaviour. Conditions may be imposed to limit opening hours where appropriate;
c) changes of use from the above uses which are permitted development; and
d) accesses to upper and lower floors.
A window and entrance should be provided or retained which related well to the design of the building and to the street scene and its setting. Regard should be given to the Aylesbury Vale Design SPD.
This policy shall apply to the secondary frontages in High Street Aylesbury until such time as this area is redeveloped in accordance with Policy D7.”
NOTE: The shopping frontage policies in the Buckingham Neighbourhood Development Plan (2015) presumably need to be updated to take account of the amended use classes order. Can this be achieved by applying the above Policy E6 to Buckingham?
Officer note, soundness tests failed: justified, consistent with national policy.
The purpose of Policy E6 is to set out what uses are acceptable at ground floor level in the “traditional” shopping streets of Aylesbury (and Buckingham?) town centre and within the Friars Square and Hale Leys shopping centres with their fine-grained, relatively small individual frontages, some of which are in Conservation Areas.
I agree with the definitions of the primary and secondary frontages shown on the policies map but Policy E6 needs to be changed to reflect my representations on FMM086. In respect of the primary frontages, it should permit only class E uses and permitted development changes of use from class E to other uses. As a result, I suggest that provisos a) and b) are now unnecessary and un-implementable and should be deleted.
In respect of secondary frontages, Policy E6 should permit class E uses, permitted development changes of use from class E to other uses and such further uses as are appropriate in secondary frontages. In my view, there are pubs, wine bars, drinking establishments (including those with expanded food provision), takeaways, betting shops, payday loan shops, laundrettes and amusement arcades. I suggest that other non-class E town centre uses would be inappropriate at ground level but would be acceptable above or below ground floor level here and at any level elsewhere in the defined town centre.
Proviso c) is unnecessary as all the visually prominent shops in Aylesbury are included in the primary shopping frontages. It is also difficult to conceive of a situation where an appropriate use (as listed above) would not add to the viability and vitality of the area. Proviso c) is therefore unnecessary and should be deleted. However, I suggest there is a case for protecting the amenities of local residents from potentially significant harm due to smell, noise and anti-social behaviour which could arise from generally acceptable and potentially “nuisance” uses such as pubs and takeaways in secondary frontages. This could require the imposition of conditions limiting hours of opening.
I further suggest that “three non-class E a) uses” should be replaced by “two non-class E uses” in proviso d) as this better reflects the effect of the use classes order and the greater range of uses now included in class E and which are therefore already acceptable in shopping frontages. Otherwise there is a danger that changes of use within class E coupled with other changes of use under the 3 adjoining properties proviso could result in a complete loss of shops in some secondary frontages. In effect proviso d) should restrict sui generis uses, such as pubs, takeaways and beauty shops to those occupying premises adjoining at least one class E use.