Planning Policy Statement 4 (PPS4) – Planning for Sustainable Economic Growth was published on 29th December 2009 by the Department for Communities and Local Government. PPS4 sets out the Government’s policies for economic development and replaces former Government guidance contained within PPG4, PPG5, PPS6 and parts of PPS7 and PPG13.

PPS4 provides more detailed guidance for Planning Authorities on how they should plan for the future needs for economic development. In relation to retail development, PPS4 retains some of the policy objectives of PPS6, namely:

  • Retail development will continue to be focused in town centres. Only if there are no suitable, viable and available sites within defined town centre shopping areas will other sites be considered.
  • Retail development in town centres should protect and promote the vitality and viability of such locations.

PPS4 also introduces the following changes:

  • More stringent policy requirements for assessing the impact of retail developments outside the primary shopping areas of town centres.
  • Removes the requirement for applicants to provide a quantitative and qualitative need assessment
  • Local Planning Authorities now have the ability to set their own thresholds and identify their own locations where edge and/or out of centre development has to be the subject of a retail impact assessment.

DMH Stallard has considerable experience in the retail sector and offers a full retail planning service including the completion of PPS4 compliant retail impact and needs assessments.