Surrey Heath Draft Local Plan Issues Options/Preferred Options, 2018

5 Retail

Image 4 - Retail


5.1 This section sets out the Council's preferred approach and alternative approaches to retail uses within the Borough. The main retail centre in the borough is Camberley. Camberley is identified as a secondary regional town centre which provides shopping, business, leisure, cultural and community activities. It has been identified as a Step-up Town by the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). A Step-up Town is a town that with the right investment has the potential to contribute more to the economy. This provides opportunities for the regeneration of the town centre. Camberley Town Centre has an Area Action Plan which was adopted in July 2014. Policies from the Area Action Plan will be carried forward into the new Local Plan.

5.2 Bagshot and Frimley are identified as District Centres; both these centres function well as district centres and provide a wide range of services and have a number of independent retailers. There are also a number of Local Centres and Neighbourhood parades in the borough. The hierarchy of these centres is:

  • Camberley is the main town centre
  • Bagshot and Frimley are District Centres
  • Chobham, Deepcut, Frimley Green, Lightwater and Windlesham are Local Centres
  • Bisley, West End , Mytchett , Old Dean, London Road/ Frimley Road, Watchetts (Frimley Road), Farm Road, Heatherside, Chertsey Road and Beaumaris are neighbourhood parades. The number of retail and associated uses in Watchetts (Frimley Road) indicate that it should now be considered as a Local Centre.

5.3 Windlesham Parish Council, Chobham Parish Council and Deepcut Neighbourhood Forum are in the process of producing Neighbourhood Plans that may include policies regarding local centres. The Local Plan will need to have regard to any aspirations for these centres put forward in Neighbourhood Plans. Deepcut local centre can be extended to include the local centre to be delivered through the development of the Princess Royal barracks at Deepcut.

5.4 All these centres have an important multi-functional role in providing for retail, local services and employment opportunities. The production of a new Local Plan provides the opportunity to consider the hierarchy of these centres and to put in place policies to ensure that these centres can continue to function successfully.

5.5 Surrey Heath's Corporate Plan, the Five Year Strategy, sets out as a priority the delivery of an improved Camberley Town Centre for the benefits of all residents in the borough.


National Policy Context

5.6 The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), 2012 paragraph 23 sets out the Government's approach to ensuring the vitality of town centres. The NPPF sets out that in drawing up Local Plans local planning authorities should:

View the national policies relating to economic development and employment land in more detail, which are located in the online version of the Government's NPPF.


Sub Regional Context

5.7 Surrey Heath Borough Council lies within the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area. Camberley Town Centre is recognised as a Step-Up town by the LEP.

View the full version of the Local Enterprise Partnership's Strategic Economic Plan, located on the LEP's website.


Local Strategies and Evidence

5.8 The preferred approach would support the objectives set out in Surrey Heath's Five Year Strategy 2016-2021. One of the Council's principle objectives is to deliver an improved Camberley Town Centre for the benefit of all residents of the Borough.

View the full version of Surrey Heath's Five Year Strategy, located on the Council's website.

5.9 The Council undertook a health check on the Borough's District and Local centres in 2017.

5.10 The following policies will be replaced in the new Local Plan (2016-2032).

Relevant Policies in the adopted Core Strategy & Development Management Policies DPD 2012

  • Policy CP9 Hierarchy of centres
  • Policy CP10 Camberley Town Centre
  • Policy DM12 District and Local Centres and Neighbourhood Parades

Camberley Area Action Plan 2014

  • Policy TC14 London Road Block
  • Policy TC6 Leisure Community and Cultural Uses
  • Policy TC2 Retail Development
  • Policy TC1 General Policy for new development within the Town Centre
  • Policy TC3 Food and Drink
  • Policy TC12 High Street Character Area
  • Appendix 6 High Street Design Guidance


Draft Objectives for Retail Policies

5.11 The following table sets out the draft objectives for retail use in the Issues and Options/Preferred Options consultation draft.

Objective C

To enhance the vitality and viability of Camberley Town Centre and other District and Local Centres in the Borough.


Policy Approaches to Retail Uses

5.12 The preferred policy approach and alternative approaches to retail use are set out below.

Preferred Policy Approach to Retail Uses

The preferred approach seeks to enhance the role of Camberley Town Centre and to ensure that other retail centres in the Borough remain viable and vibrant. This will be achieved by:

  • Having a policy which sets the hierarchy of the retail centres in the Borough and revises boundaries as necessary.
  • Carrying forward retail, leisure and cultural related polices from the Camberley Town Centre Area Action Plan into a new Local Plan.
  • Setting the primary and secondary shopping frontages in Town, District and Local centres on the Policies Map.
  • Introducing a Development Management policy which promotes retail development which supports and enhances the District, Local centres and Neighbourhood Parades and which is appropriate in terms of size and scale of those centres.
  • Introducing a Development Management policy which seeks to retain A1 (shops) retail use in the primary shopping frontages and which sets out that any change from a A1 (shops) retail unit to an A2 (financial and professional services) /A3 (food and drink) /A4 (drinking establishments) /A5 (hot food takeaways) use should not have an adverse impact on existing retail uses within the primary shopping frontages. Non retail uses should not comprise more than 50% of the total shopping area and that within the primary shopping frontage 75% of the uses should be A1 (shop) retail uses.
  • Introduce a Development Management Policy which recognises the 'mean time' use of empty shops in retail centres to promote 'start- up' retail businesses and help ensure the vibrancy of the centre.
  • Introducing a Development Management policy which sets out that development at first floor level or above should consider office or residential accommodation in the first instance.
  • Polices on environmental improvements and shopfronts will be considered in the Local Area policies.

Alternative Approaches to Retail Uses

  • To not carry forward polices from the Camberley Town Centre Area Action Plan and retain the Area Action Plan.
  • To not set a percentage for A1 (shops) and other uses in primary shopping frontages.
  • To have an overarching policy on environmental improvements and shopfronts.