Minister Hogan publishes draft retail planning guidelines
November 21, 2011 at 5:03 AM
Mr. Phil Hogan, T.D., Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, today (21 November, 2011), published for public consultation, draft Retail Planning Guidelines. The aim of the draft Guidelines claims to ensure that the planning system plays a key role in ensuring competitiveness in the retail sector advancing choice for the consumer while promoting and supporting the vitality and viability of city and town centres and contributing to a high standard of urban design and encouraging a greater use of sustainable transport.
Irish Green Building Council members need to carefully review these guidelines. Any apparent short term gain for the consumer needs to be considered against strategic sustainabilty objectives. Any raising of the retail area cap would need to carefully consider, the effect on current travel patterns, particularly to avoid a further increase in the current chronic car dependency in Ireland. Location of retail must avoid any futher hollowing out of existing centres. Can the guidelines be strengthed to ensure that policy objectives such as Smarter travel guidelines are achieved by encouraging modal shifts from individual car ownership and use. Should there be requirements for use of brownfield or regeneration sites rather than greenfield sites? Should there be maximum carpark provision? Should there be a planning gain for all large sites for all large retail? Could co- location of farmers markets be included as part of developing genuine competition?