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Newark & Sherwood Local Development Framework Plan Review - Preferred Approach Town Centre & Retail

SoAP1 - Role and Setting of Southwell

3.10 Whilst the health check undertaken as part of the TC&RS showed vacancy levels to be significantly below the national average, it is still important that positive action is taken where vacancies do occur. As a result SoAP1 will be amended to promote the re-use of vacant and underused shops and other buildings within the Town Centre, and securing the redevelopment of vacant sites for appropriate main Town Centre uses.

3.11 The TC&RS has identified that the centre could benefit from additional leisure provision, including more quality restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments in order to increase dwell times within the centre. Consequently SoAP1 has been amended to support the delivery of additional leisure uses within the Town Centre, particularly those falling within the A3 'restaurant and café' and A4 'drinking establishments' use classes.

3.12 Through the in-centre and household surveys, carried out for the TC&RS, the need for increased and improved parking provision and the alleviation of traffic congestion has been identified. Importantly the centre-surveys confirmed that both of the Town Centre car parks were at almost full capacity on the day of the visits. Whilst congestion was noted around the Church Street and King Street junction. The study underlines the importance of effective parking and traffic management, particularly in light of the positive impact that visitors from outside the centre have on its overall economy. Accordingly the revised SoAP1 seeks to secure additional car parking capacity which is either able to directly serve the Town Centre, or alternatively relieve pressure on existing Town Centre parking facilities.

3.13 The policy also now includes an amendment to recognise the critical role which the District Council can play, in working with partners (including Southwell Town Council) to provide strategic direction to the management of the centre in order to deliver objectives.

3.14 The preferred approach to amending the retail and Town Centre elements of SoAP1 is set out below (changes in underlined text). Please refer to the Preferred Approach - Settlements & Sites consultation paper for the full policy text. Should you wish to comment on the amended SoAP1, then this should also be done through the Settlements & Sites consultation paper.