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town centre use sequential test

Specialist
Town Centre Use and Retail Sequential Test Assessments

Nation's personalised one stop commercial planning consultancy

Bespoke services

services

As a retail planning agent, Mark Alexander specialises in a range of retail planning policy services, including main town centre use and retail sequential test assessments, focusing on creating intelligent, practical and rapid solutions for clients. The consultancy's concept is to provide bespoke retail planning services to support planning applications or appraisals supporting the client's ambition. Clients can vary from landowners, builders, Local Government and consultants to developers.

The aim is to provide comprehensive specialist retail expertise for clients who require a retail sequential test assessment or a retail frontages survey to support any small to medium retail schemes in various towns and cities.

Retail Planning Services

Town Centre Use or Retail Sequential Test Reports

town centre use sequential test

The sequential test guides proposals for main town centre uses towards town centre locations first, then, if no town centre locations are available, to edge of centre locations, and, if neither town centre locations nor edge of centre locations are available, to out of centre locations (with preference for accessible sites which are well connected to the town centre). It supports the viability and vitality of town centres by placing existing town centres foremost in both plan-making and decision-taking.

Retail Frontages Survey

frontages survey

A retail frontages survey is usually required when a proposed development would result in the loss of retail frontage in a Primary or Secondary Retail Frontage Area. A Council may identify such areas to protect the vitality of its town centres.

What is a retail sequential test assessment?

The sequential test guides main town centre uses towards town centre locations first, then, if no town centre locations are available, to edge of centre locations, and, if neither town centre locations nor edge of centre locations are available, to out of centre locations (with preference for accessible sites which are well connected to the town centre). It supports the viability and vitality of town centres by placing existing town centres foremost in both plan-making and decision-taking.

Use of the sequential test should recognise that certain main town centre uses have particular market and locational requirements which mean that they may only be accommodated in specific locations. Robust justification will need to be provided where this is the case, and land ownership does not provide such a justification.

When is a retail sequential test assessment required?

The sequential test is required when a 'main town centre use' is proposed in an 'out of centre' location. The test relates to retail and leisure developments (not all main town centre uses) which are not in accordance with up to date plan policies and which would be located outside existing town centres.

Main town centre uses are: retail development (including warehouse clubs and factory outlet centres); leisure, entertainment facilities the more intensive sport and recreation uses (including cinemas, restaurants, drive-through restaurants, bars and pubs, night-clubs, casinos, health and fitness centres, indoor bowling centres, and bingo halls); offices; and arts, culture and tourism development (including theatres, museums, galleries and concert halls, hotels and conference facilities).

For more information please visit the dedicated 'Retail Sequential Test Assessment' page.

About the consultancy


Mark-Alexander graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Planning from Birmingham City University and continued his education at Newcastle University with a Masters Degree in International Spatial Strategy. He is currently working for a Planning Consultancy in Norwich where he has contributed to many planning applications using his unique professional skills. He has worked for a number of retail schemes throughout the UK including Sheffield, Norwich and Thanet.

Currently a licentiate member of the RTPI (Royal Town and Planning Institute), Mark Alexander is a strong planner and problem solver who readily adapts to change, works independently and exceeds expectations. He is able to juggle multiple priorities and meet tight deadlines without compromising quality.

With this hands-on approach, he is now providing independent, personalised and accessible services to small and medium retail schemes throughout Scotland.