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Agenda Item 4

REPORT TO: DATE:

PLANNING COMMITTEE 4 June 2008

REP0RTING OFFICER: ASSISTANT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, PLANNING & TRANSPORTATION CONTACT OFFICER: SUBJECT: MIKE BURCHNALL – TEL NO 233 6749 RESPONSE TO CONSULTATION BY KNOWSLEY COUNCIL IN RESPECT OF PLANNING APPLICATION 08/00001/HYB (SUBMITTED BY TESCO STORES LTD) AT LAND SOUTH OF CHERRYFIELD DRIVE, KIRKBY N/A

WARD:

REPORT:
1. Members of the Committee will be aware of proposals by Tesco’s, and Everton Football Club (EFC) to promote a redevelopment on the edge of and part within Kirkby Town Centre, in Knowsley, involving the relocation of the football club and a mixed use development including a significant retail component. The overall scheme is known as ‘Destination Kirkby’. 2. Towards the end of last year Knowsley Council published a ‘Kirkby Town Centre Interim Policy Statement’. This Interim Policy Statement (IPS) set out proposals for the remodelling of the existing town centre and most significantly the creation of major new retail facilities together with a site for a new Everton FC Stadium. Commenting on this type of document is an Executive function of the City Council, and accordingly the Executive Board considered the matter on 7 December 2007 and passed views on the Interim Planning Statement to Knowsley Council. 3. The City Council has now been consulted on a planning application submitted by Tesco Stores Ltd. Under the Constitution responding to consultations from neighbouring Planning Authorities can be delegated to the Planning Manager, but in this case it is considered that any view passed to Knowsley Council should be via the Planning Committee.

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4. A hybrid planning application (part outline, part detailed) was originally submitted to Knowsley in January, 2008 with revisions to the application made during 2008. The application now constitutes the following elements:50,000 seater premiership football stadium and associated hospitality facilities. New and replacement retail floorspace (both convenience and comparison goods) of some 63,292 sq m gross. With the demolition of retail and other floorspace in town centre of 13,291 sq m gross the application provides a gain in retail floorspace of 50,000 sq m gross, (38,139 sq m net sales). The retail floorspace on land to the south of the town centre (south of Cherryfield Drive), includes:A Tesco food store building of 22,070 sq m gross. The foodstore is 14,970 sq m gross with the additional floorspace being for an enclosed mall shopping area over two levels with parking underneath the Tesco store itself parking underneath, plus associated servicing and back up areas. o The food store has a sales area of 10,219 sq m which is split between food (convenience) goods – 4,767 sq m (47%) and non food (comparison) goods – 5,542 sq m (53%) 29 retail units of 26,m895 sq m gross plus 6,584 sq m net of mezzanine floorspace to be included depending on tenant requirements

o

New and replacement retail within the town centre of 14,843 sq m gross floor space with demolitions of retail and other floorspace of13,291 sq m gross. Food and drink uses Leisure units, including a new leisure centre Hotel 123 dwellings (72 replacement and 51 addition) Replacement council offices PCT facility and library

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Car Parking (approx 3,500 spaces); and Public Realm improvements

5 In the main the detailed element of the application relates to the retail development and stadium to the south of the town centre with the remainder of the proposal submitted in outline. 6. The application was amended and a number of new documents were submitted and others revised in mid April and Knowsley Council initiated a reconsultation on the application. A report on this application was published for consideration by the Planning Committee on 6 May, but following publication the planning application submitted to Knowsley Council was further amended. These amendments were formally put in the public domain on 16 May and Knowsley Council have indicated that responses must be received by 5 June, in anticipation of the planning application being determined by Knowsley Council on 9 June. 7. Cushman and Wakefield were commissioned by the Council to examine the application and identify any implications for the City. Cushman and Wakefield are one of two retail planning consultancies retained by the City to advise on retail strategy, policy and individual proposals. The initial report prepared by Cushman and Wakefield was revised following the receipt of the various amendments to the planning application, and a full copy of their report recently received is attached at Annex 1. 8. The City Council strongly supports the ambitions of Knowsley Council to regenerate Kirkby Town Centre which for many years has had poor retail representation and has not functioned properly as a Town Centre. New and refurbished accommodation and uses within the Town Centre are a pre requisite of regeneration and it is clear that even within the current UDP framework established for Knowsley, that regeneration has not been achieved, and is unlikely to be. 9. Following the publication of the City Council’s first report on this scheme, the applicants (Tesco’s) reduced the proposed retail floor space by 22,221 sq m GIA an effective reduction of 31% in the proposed retail floor space. This level of reduction has been achieved by removing all the mezzanine floorspace proposed from the new units in the town centre and reducing that anticipated to the south of the town centre. The retail footprint and heights of buildings have remained unchanged so this floorspace could be introduced at a later date through planning applications for floorspace greater than 200 sq m. Planning applications are not required below this level if the increase in retail floorspace is purely internal. This level of reduction

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was both significant and welcomed. 10. Nevertheless, the level of floor space still proposed, to accompany a new stadia for Everton Football Club is still extremely large at 50,000 sq m GIA which is 4 times the size of the existing centre and double the optimistic estimates envisaged by the supporting retail study of the Knowsley replacement UDP. 11.The retail assessment carried out by Cushman and Wakefield still raises a number of unanswered questions and concerns on behalf of the City Council in relation to: the methodology and demonstration of ‘need’; the scale of the proposals viz a viz the role and relationship of Kirkby Town Centre and the current regional and local policy framework; the sequential approach to the development; and the likely impact of the development on the peripheral areas of the City Centre and possibly some Liverpool District Centres. 12.Whilst it is recommended that the attached technical report, which outlines the unanswered questions and concerns of the City Council, be submitted to Knowsley Council for consideration, there is an added level of complexity given that ‘Destination Kirkby’ is a regeneration scheme involving other major elements (eg the relocation of EFC) and the positive social economic and regeneration impacts of the overall scheme must be factored into the analysis. 13.It can only be the decision maker (ie Knowsley Council) who can fully consider and evaluate all the material considerations relevant in this case. As outlined earlier it is recognised that to achieve a major regeneration of Kirkby Town Centre, a level of retailing above existing policy limits, (together with other elements), could be justifiable “at an appropriate scale”. Despite the significant reduction of the scheme in early May, on balance, your officers consider the retail assessment submitted with the application has not sufficiently allayed concerns of officers in particular over the scale of the proposals and it is considered that a more thorough assessment is required and a further reduction in retail floorspace should be negotiated. 14.Should Members of Knowsley Council be minded to approve this application then officers advise that the level of future floorspace should be controlled by robust conditions and or legal agreements. The retail floorspace as now proposed has not changed in terms of footprint and heights and the reduction in floorspace has been achieved by significantly reducing the mezzanine floorspace proposed. Although future planning applications would have to be submitted for any further increases in mezzanine floorspace over 200 sq m there could be an incremental increase in this space in the short term which could be determined without further notification to adjoining authorities or the Government Office. Without sufficient control on retail floorspace the incremental increase could eventually lead to the levels of floorspace in the applicants previous submission

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and the concerns about scale, impact etc would be even more apparent. 15.Grosvenor have been working in partnership with the City Council on the Paradise Project/Liverpool 1, since the inception of the project in 1999. Grosvenor have been discussing the Knowsley proposals with other partners, occupiers and other interested parties, including businesses in the Business Improvement District (BID). Their retail consultants, Drivers Jonas, submitted views on the Tesco Stores Ltd application to Knowsley Council (prior to the recent changes in the application) and have forwarded a copy of those views to the Council. The views submitted by Drivers Jonas are attached at Annex 2 for the Committee’s information.

RECOMMENDATION:
That in respect of planning application 08/00001/HYB, submitted by Tesco Stores Ltd, Knowsley Council be advised that Liverpool City Council welcomes proposals to regenerate Kirkby Town Centre; notes the reduction in retail floor space recently negotiated; continues to have questions and concerns on a number of technical matters as outlined in the Cushman and Wakefield report; and would urge Knowsley Council to seek further reductions in the retail (comparison goods) component of the development.

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