The National Planning Policy Framework (para 24) states that a sequential test should be applied to planning applications for main town centre uses that are not in an existing centre and are not in accordance with an up-to-date Sheffield Plan.
The requirements apply to proposals for:
- leisure and entertainment facilities (including restaurants, bars, night-clubs, health and fitness centres)
Small developments, such as a change of use from a single house to a shop, are excluded.
The following issues need to be assessed:
- that there are no suitable sites closer to a nearby centre for the development or that there is a need for the development in that particular location
- that there are no unacceptable impacts on existing centres (for proposals with more than 2,500 square metres of floor space)
- that locations are accessible by a choice of means of transport
As a general rule, the development should satisfy all these considerations.
The amount and nature of information and analysis required should be proportionate to the scale and nature of the proposal.
It is advisable to agree the scope of the Assessment with the Planning Service as part of a wider pre-application enquiry or directly with Forward and Area Planning.