‘(1) In Part 2 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 after section 15 insert—
15A (1) The local planning authority must prepare and maintain a scheme to be known as their retail diversity scheme.
(2) The retail diversity scheme must form part of the Local Development Scheme within two years of the Local Development Scheme being published or within two years of this Act being passed, whichever is later.
(3) The scheme must—
(a) define a network and hierarchy of retail centres in the local authority area,
(b) assess the need for development in retail centres,
(c) identify sites for development based on the sequential approach, and
(d) promote retail diversity.
(4) In this section—
(a) ‘retail diversity’ means a mix of retail provision that meets the requirements of the local catchment area in terms of range and quality of comparison and convenience retail businesses;
(b) ‘sequential approach’ means that local planning authorities must identify sites that are suitable, available and viable for development in the following order—
(i) locations in appropriate existing centres;
(ii) edge of centre locations, with preference given to sites that are or will be well connected to existing retail centres;
(iii) out of centre sites with preference given to sites well served by a choice of transport and are closest to an existing centre.
(5) The Secretary of State may direct the local planning authority to make such amendments to the scheme as he thinks appropriate.
(6) Such a direction must contain the Secretary of State’s reasons for giving it.
(7) The local planning authority must consult with the local community in developing the scheme.
(8) The local community as defined under subsection (7) must include—
(a) a parish council or parish councils authorised to act in relation to the neighbourhood area or areas to which the retail diversity scheme relates subject to section 61F of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990,
(b) a ‘qualifying body’ authorised to act in relation to the neighbourhood area or areas to which the retail diversity scheme relates subject to section 61F of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, and
(c) any other local person at the discretion of the local planning authority.
(9) Where a retail planning application is submitted and there is no retail diversity scheme in place the applicant must provide a statement to the local planning authority that sets out how the development impacts on the criteria identified in subsection (3); and the local planning authority must consult the local community as defined in subsection (8) before coming to a decision on the application.”’.—(Jack Dromey.)
Question put, That the clause be added to the Bill.
The House divided:
Ayes 224, Noes 308.