knowsley report

The new rules apply in around 40 retail centres. Credit: council documents

Knowsley adopts new retail policy

The local authority’s cabinet has approved a supplementary planning document designed to limit gambling outlets and takeaways in its retail centres.

Konwlsey’s cabinet met on Wednesday 7 September to discuss the SPD, which will guide planning decisions in the borough’s retail areas.

Specifically, the document is concerned with hot food takeaways, payday loan shops, pawnshops and gambling uses – betting shops, adult gaming centres and amusement arcades.

The council is seeking to update the town centre uses SPD adopted in 2016, acknowledging rises in problem gambling and obesity levels since then.

As outlined by the officer’s report, the document “considers the changing function of retail centres due to the increase in people working from home and online shopping, and there is a focus on the development of appropriate retail, leisure, and residential uses, which can enhance the vitality of the borough’s retail centres”.

The proposed changes rubber-stamped at last night’s meeting include a maximum limit of 5% gambling uses in any town centre, reduced from 10%; and a limit of 10% on any district/local centre or shopping parade, reduced from 20%.

Hot food takeaways are also to be limited to the same numbers.

Knowsley’s retail pitches as set out in the SPD include three town centres: Huyton, Prescot and Kirkby, and three district centres in Halewood (Ravenscourt), Page Moss and Stockbridge Village. There are a further 33 areas classed as various sizes of local or district centre or parade.

Along with limiting total numbers, guidance is included in the SPD on such matters as operating hours and impact on neighbourhoods.

Learn more about the changing nature of high streets and retail at Place North West’s Future of Retail event on 15 September.

Your Comments

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It`s always risky interfering with the market, as in this instance you may end up with empty shops. One thing we never thought through properly in Britain was that if we move our residential areas away from the retail areas they will suffer, we should understand from places like France that if you populate the retail areas, generally with flats above shops ,this greatly helps sustain the businesses.

By Anonymous

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