Draft Thanet Local Plan - 2031 - Pre-Submission Publication, Regulation 19

8 - Town and District Centres

Primary and Secondary Frontages

8.1 The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) requires local planning authorities to define the extent of primary and secondary frontages within town centres and set policies to make clear which uses will be permitted in such locations.

8.2 Healthy shopping centres rely on control over the number and location of non-retail premises within the main shopping area. The success of any particular centre is dependent, at least in part, upon retaining a reasonably close grouping of shops selling a wide range of products. This allows customers to fulfil the majority of their shopping needs in one trip, as well as providing the opportunity for comparing the price and availability of less frequently purchased goods. The existence of non-retail businesses in primary shopping areas can inhibit these activities by reducing the range of shops, and thereby potentially reducing the number of people visiting the centre, as well as making the centre less compact and therefore less convenient. However town centres perform a greater function than just retail centres. They are hubs of the community and encompass cultural, leisure, arts and heritage uses that in turn support the tourism industry. Therefore in line with the strategy for the town centres outlined earlier it is considered appropriate to provide a generous secondary frontage in the coastal town centres in order to maintain and support this trend.

Policy E04 - Primary and Secondary Frontages

Primary and Secondary Frontages are defined for Westwood, Margate, Ramsgate and Broadstairs.

Within the Primary Frontages the following development will be permitted:

1) Use Classes falling within A1, A2, A3, A4 and A5. (see glossary)

2) Residential and Class B1 (a) offices will be permitted above ground floor level only.

Within the Secondary Frontages the uses referred to in the preceding clause will be permitted as well as all other town centre uses stated in the National Planning Policy Framework including hotels and residential where this would not fragment or erode the commercial frontages to a degree that compromises footfall or otherwise undermines the function of the centre.