- The balance of retail is changing with smaller independent stores, which are seen as integral to the character of the neighbourhood, being replaced by multiples.
- The high number of separate landlords in the area prevents a curatorial approach to retail in the neighbourhood. Where local people desire a mix of retail to suit different needs, owners are prone to seeking the tenant able to pay the highest rent. This can lead to homogenisation, serving commuters and tourists rather than residents or other kinds of shoppers
- The neighbourhood lacks anchor stores which draw shoppers to the area and can complement independent shops
- The success of retail in the area will be linked to the development of Waterloo Station and there is a need to involve Network Rail and LCR in discussion to align long term ambitions of the Station operator and the community.
- There is a shortage of office space in the area and in particular offices that support the needs of young and small businesses – i.e. spaces that are affordable and flexible in their tenure and size.
- More could be done to ensure local jobseekers benefit from local job creation, unlocked through development.
POLICIES: Retail and Work
|P8||The neighbourhood will encourage development that provides retail units with the following characteristics:
i. Interiors fitted out to RIBA category B standard
ii. A range of unit sizes including units with shop floors under 20 sq/m
|P9||Policies relating to the Lower Marsh and The Cut CAZ frontage:
a) Commercial premises in the Lower Marsh and The Cut CAZ frontage must not represent less than 70% A1 and A3 Use classes combined.
b) Conversion from shops to residential on these streets will not be permitted and the neighbourhood will support applications to convert ground floor residential to A1 or A3 use, with the exception of the New Cut Housing Coop and Styles House.
c) Intensification above shops will be encouraged, subject to other policies including design, , heritage and open space.
|P10||The neighbourhood will encourage schemes which provide office or workspace with the following characteristics:
i. Are able to be subdivided to encourage flexible use and co-working and/or
ii. Include a range of unit sizes including offices of under 1000 sq/m
iii. Are able to provide accommodation for a range of jobs which are accessible to local people and/or
iv. Commit to working with third party employment providers and local schools to provide work placements, apprenticeships and training support for unemployed people.
The loss of office space larger than 1000sq/m will not be supported.
|P11||The neighbourhood will support proposals which enable physical infrastructure improvements to support the development and servicing of the street market at Lower Marsh, including:
i. Electricity points
ii. Larger storage
iii. Refuse storage
iv. Improved lighting
v. Improved seating
- SoWN supports the use of CIL or S106 to subsidise affordable office space for start-ups and enterprise activity – the proximity to local universities provides an opportunity to develop local entrepreneurial talent via subsidies granted by a community body.
- SoWN supports the use of covenants to restrict the proliferation of specific types of uses in close proximity (e.g. supermarkets, betting shops, coffee shops). Covenants must be agreed by the landowner but are an opportunity to prevent changes of use where such changes would be detrimental to the economic health of the street.
- Consideration should be given to how changes to business rates allowing for local setting of rates levels can be managed to encourage the establishment of businesses which would serve an unmet need in the community
- SoWN supports the Planning Authorities’ policies to strengthen protections against the loss of office space in the neighbourhood area, and encourage applications for new provision to come forward. A significant loss of office space threatens the balance of the neighbourhood, including the local retail economy. Central London exemptions to government guidance allowing for office to residential conversion without planning consent are being modified and may erode this further.