Our aim is to provide comprehensive specialist retail & leisure expertise, including for clients who require a retail sequential test assessment or a retail impact assessment to support any small to medium retail schemes in various towns and cities.

What is a Retail Sequential Test Assessment?

The sequential test assessment is typically required when a 'main town centre use' is proposed in an 'out of centre' location. The sequential test relates to retail, commercial and leisure developments (but not all main town centre uses) located outside any defined centre and are not in accordance with up to date plan or policy.

It is for the applicant to demonstrate whether the proposed use or development complies with the requirements of the sequential approach by preparing a 'Sequential Test Assessment'. Failure to undertake a sequential assessment could in itself constitute a reason for refusing permission, or sometimes the Council may not validate the planning application without this document.

What is a Retail Impact Assessment?

The National Planning Policy Framework confirms that a retail impact assessment is required for main town centre uses that are outside town centres, are not in accordance with an up-to-date Local Plan, and where they exceed a proportionate, locally set, floorspace (default figure of 2,500 sqm).

Impact Assessments should assess, in summary, the following:

  • The impact on existing investment within centres;
  • The impact on the vitality and viability of town centres;
  • The impact on the vitality and viability of town centres;
  • The impact of the proposal in-centre trade/turnover and trade in the wider area;
  • Current and future consumer expenditure capacity in the catchment area;
  • Assess whether the proposal is of an appropriate scale for its locality; and
  • Analyse what effects it may have on locally important centres.

MAPlanning has extensive expertise in retail planning and can assist with preparing a Sequential Test Assessment and/or a Retail Impact Assessment, where required.