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Marks and Spencer at Marsh Lane

Reference Documents

Marks and Spencer's Plans

The following plan shows the West Cornwall Retail Park at Marsh Lane with the Marks and Spencer retail space shaded in blue.  They have reserved Units C & D.
Units C & D are shown here with the area that would be used for food retail coloured green and the rest of the retail area coloured red.

The following letter and attachment were issued by M&S on the 29th November 2005 to support their Planning Application (Variation of Condition).  Click the scroll bars to read the whole letter.


Cornwall County Council's Objections

Marks and Spencer have requested that their planning permission for a non-food retail outlet be modified to include a food section.  Unfortunately, this has required a major review by planning authorities.  PDC were required to submit the application to Cornwall County Council for review and the response is given below.  It is up to GOSW (Government of the South West) to determine whether the application must be approved by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.  If a referral is required, it may kill the application because of the long delays that will occur.  I have marked in red the objections to the development.

Mr A England

Sustainable Development And Design Manager

Penwith District Council

Municipal Offices

St Clare


TR18 3QW

Please ask for:

Mr Tim Horwood


01872 322635



My Ref:


Your Ref:





30 January 2006


Dear Mr England







Variation of condition 2 on 05/P/0034/F to allow limited ancillary food sales

Land Off Marsh Lane Hayle Cornwall  

Applicant: Marks & Spencer Plc


Thank you for your consultation with the County Council as the County Planning Authority received on 28 November 2005.


The proposal to locate a Marks and Spencer Store on the West Cornwall Retail Park at Hayle raises very significant strategic policy issues in respect of both the retail and transport accessibility matters.  A store of this type is likely to significant change retail and travel for shopping purposes.


The key policy matters to be addressed to satisfy national guidance, the regional strategy and the structure plan are

  • The need for the development
  • The sequential approach
  • The impact on vitality and viability of existing centres (including the potential impact on the regeneration focus in Camborne-Pool-Redruth and in Hayle harbour)
  • The impact on travel patterns and accessibility by non car modes


A full assessment of the above issues is necessary. The combination of food and non- food retailing on this site have not been addressed. The case for the development is based on the importance and significance to Penwith of a Marks and Spencer Store – consequently it is the impact of a Marks and Spencer store in its entirety, including both food and non food that should be addressed.


Unfortunately the accompanying planning statement by RPS Planning does not adequately address these matters. Instead it seeks to make a case that only the food element of the new proposal should be considered and in view of the scale argues that even this does not require a full assessment.


I understand you have appointed your own retail consultants to undertake a full assessment. Closely related to the retail implications of the proposal are the changes in travel patterns that would result. Again a Transport Assessment is required to assess the specific impact of a Marks and Spencer Store – reliance on previous assessments is inadequate.


Subject to considering more detailed evidence the proposal is in significant conflict with Structure Plan policy 14 and 28, RSS Policy EC6 and national planning guidance for the following reasons

  • There is inadequate justification of a retail need that could not be met in or adjoining an existing centre
  • A sequential approach has not been followed
  • An adverse impact on the vitality and viability of other centres may result and the proposal is likely to divert investment from the regeneration focus in Camborne-Pool-Redruth and Hayle
  • The out of town location would not facilitate accessibility by non car modes or encourage linked trips and the likely draw of Marks and Spencer is likely to result in an overall increase in car travel  

If the council is minded to grant consent the proposal should first be referred to the Deputy Prime Minister as a major departure from the development plan.


Yours sincerely,


 Mark Jones

Assistant Director: Spatial Planning

Hayle Town Council's Response, 13 March 2006


Council 'Seems Hell Bent on Stopping Hayle Development'

Letter published in the Cornishman, 4 May 2006:

I am writing in disgust over Penwith District Council's policy with Hayle's West Cornwall retail park and Marks & Spencer shopping outlet.
The council seems hell-bent on stopping development other than a few thousand cheap houses. Hayle will be the biggest council estate in Cornwall.
The harbour now stands at 890-ish flats and houses with no amenities. Shopping in Copperhouse is very poor. If you take away all the food outlets and estate agents there is very little left.
According to local radio the district council is going to spend a lot of our money on a study to find out the effects of transport and the finance to other towns in the area. I take it that "other" towns includes Truro, which seems to have a very big finger in the pie. M &S have tried in the past to get into Penzance and St Austell, both being turned down by Cornwall County Council.
When London and Amsterdam wanted to have a shopping area on the harbour, the main voice of dissent was from Truro. The people of Hayle should have the final say in what happens to the town in the future.

E Bryant, Copper Terrace

Response from Penwith District Council:


Highways Agency has 'No Objections'

Matt Barton issued the following press release after receiving notification from the Highways Agency that their traffic study did not turn up any problems.  The Retail Impact Study is still going through some iterations with County.  Note, however, that the letter states that "Penwith District Council anticipates being in a position to consider the application in June."


For your information, I have included the references from the Structure Plan below.   "National planning guidance" generally refers to the Planning Policy Guidelines (PPG) and Planning Policy Statements (PPS) issued by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.  These may be accessed at www.odpm.gov.uk.

Marks & Spencer Press Release, 02 June 2006

Marks and Spencer’s delight at Highways Agency support

for Hayle food store

Marks and Spencer is pleased to learn that the Highways Agency has no objections to its proposed variation to the existing permission.

Having reviewed the information provided, the Agency is satisfied that the introduction of a food retail element within the Marks and Spencer store will not cause operational concerns on the A30 or the Marsh Lane roundabout.

By lifting its holding direction, the Agency removes the last technical objection to the application. Marks and Spencer understands officers are now looking to meet with the County Council and its members early in June to discuss the proposal, and hopes they will accept the argument put forward by Penwith District Council and the Council’s retained consultants that the food hall would not harm local businesses, and would indeed provide a wide ranging benefit to the area.

Marks and Spencer welcomes the support from local residents, the Chamber of Commerce and Town Council.

PDC Planning Committee meeting documents

The following documents are those presented to PDC Planning Committee members for consideration on 27 June 2006 at 7PM.  They are in Adobe PDF format (file sizes shown).

Government Office for the South West (GOSW) stops planning approval

27 June 2006:  Councillors, and the residents of Hayle who had travelled to the PDC Planning Committee meeting, were shocked to hear that GOSW had faxed a letter at the last minute to PDC invoking their powers to prevent the planning committee from granting planning approval.

Below is a copy of the faxed letter.

Matt Barton, Head of Sustainable Development and Improvement at PDC, told me last night that the GOSW review should be completed within two weeks.  There is still hope that the review will conclude that PDC may make the determination and the vote at the committee allows the PDC officers, in consultation with the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Planning, to give planning consent once the GOSW ban is lifted.

Matt has posted this on the PDC website today (28 June 2006).  Check www.penwith.gov.uk for updates.

Government Office for the South West directs Penwith DC not to grant planning permission for the Marks and Spencer application without specific authorisation.

Matt Barton - Head of Sustainable Development and Improvement wrote:

At 16.55pm on Monday 26 June Penwith District Council received a fax from the Government Office for the South West (GOSW) (see download opposite) advising that it was 'directing' [instructing] Penwith DC not to grant planning permission on the Marks and Spencer application without receiving specific authorisation from them first. This is to allow GOSW the opportunity to review the application and decide if it should be referred to the Secretary of State for determination.

The Chief Executive, Jim McKenna, has spoken to officers at GOSW on several occasions during the course of Tuesday and expressed his concern about the 11th hour intervention and is making the strongest possible representation.

Given that GOSW has prevented Penwith from formally granting planning permission, on Tuesday evening, the Planning Committee considered the application from Marks and Spencer and resolved that:

“That delegated authority be granted to the Sustainable Development and Design Manager in consultation with the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Planning Committee to grant conditional approval, if and when GOSW allows the Council to do so, and subject to the satisfactory conclusion of the unilateral agreement securing a contribution to transport and access works.”

My letter to GOSW follows:

17 July 2006.  GOSW Lifts Planning Restriction


10 August 2006:  Marks & Spencer Set to Open New Store in Hayle

Reference Documents

Cornwall County Council, Structure Plan

Policy 14 Town Centres and Retailing

Priority will be given to the improvement and enhancement of town centres in providing shopping, office and leisure facilities to meet the needs and aspirations of the whole community.

Retail, office and leisure development should be in or adjoining town centres where they can help sustain the centre's viability and vitality, contribute to the improvement of the town centre environment and can be accessible to all sectors of the community by a choice of means of transport. Major proposals should support the role and function of the Strategic Urban Centres (SUCs).

Elsewhere, such development should be limited to circumstances where particular needs could not reasonably be expected to be met in or adjoining town centres, having taken account of the existing provision available and further development opportunities. In the case of retailing, it will be important to assess the capacity of the centre as a whole to meet future needs, rather than its ability to accommodate a particular retailer or form of development. In addition:

  • development should not be harmful to the vitality and viability of existing centres;
  • locations should be in or well integrated with towns where the impact on travel patterns would be unlikely to lead to increased car usage and where convenient access by public transport serving the catchment area is available; and
  • consideration should be given to the potential role of retail and other commercial development in the physical and economic regeneration of urban areas.

86. Shopping is an essential part of life for most people. Retail development underpins the physical character of town centres and is a key part of their vitality and viability. Planning policies must secure a pattern of shopping provision that is convenient to all sectors of the community. Equally, it is important that the quality of provision meets the needs and aspirations of the communities served. Failure to do so can result in households having to travel further to obtain goods and services and reducing local expenditure to the detriment of the local economy.

87. Retailing offers significant employment benefits. The Plan's strategic themes relating to accessibility to goods and services and consolidating the settlement hierarchy are particularly relevant to shopping provision. To meet the Plan's objectives and be consistent with the Plan's strategy, policies seek to encourage the highest level of shopping provision in each settlement, consistent with its potential shopping role and its catchment population. Defining a rigid retail hierarchy is not considered appropriate given the similarities in scale and function of many of Cornwall's towns; in addition it may unnecessarily constrain the ability of centres to adjust to changing opportunities and needs. Nonetheless major proposals should support the role of the Strategic Urban Centres (SUCs). Truro should sustain and enhance its already established role as a sub-regional centre; at the same time the other SUCs need to strengthen their retail role. The County Council will work with the relevant District Councils to ensure that the inter-relationships between centres are properly considered and that both the above aims are achieved.

88. Policy 14 gives strong emphasis to the role of retailing and other activities in sustaining and enhancing the vitality and viability of existing centres. The priority must be to meet needs in existing centres wherever feasible and where the town centre environment can be improved. The policy embraces the sequential approach to site selection, a fundamental part of national policy to support town centres. The principles apply to a range of activities and have particular significance in respect of retailing.

89. In considering retail locations outside existing centres it is first necessary to assess the capacity of town centres as a whole to provide the range and quality of shopping appropriate to its size and function. Also in applying the sequential approach, full regard should be given to the need for flexibility in format, design and scale (including car parking) of development proposals. The policy principles apply equally to newer retail formats such as Factory Outlet Centres (FOCS).

Policy 28 Accessibility

Consideration should be given to the overall impact on travel patterns and the availability of alternative locations for development in order to minimise the need to travel and to increase choice of travel by walking, cycling and public transport.

Development should ensure:

  • opportunities to optimise walking, cycling and public transport are reflected in the scale, location and form of proposals;
  • the effective management and safe movement of traffic; and
  • future opportunity for the use of railways, for passengers and freight, is not harmed.

Appropriate accessibility assessments should be carried out for new and existing development allocations and new proposals for housing, employment and other development with significant travel implications.

Local plans should identify the most accessible sites for uses that generate large amounts of travel and where appropriate retain them for such development. Local plans will set out accessibility criteria based on:

  • potential journeys generated by development; and
  • the opportunity for people to walk, cycle and use public transport to get to and from development.

This will inform the consideration of travel plans and parking provision as part of a wider strategy.

152. Accessibility is a measure of how easy it is to get to where we want to go. Planning policies need to address the location of different activities and how people move between them. The relationship between the start and end point of the journey and how the journey can be made affects accessibility. It is, therefore, important that new development is well located in order to reduce the need to travel in the first instance, or to provide the opportunity to use more sustainable ways of travel.

153. People's general levels of accessibility vary a lot across the County. These are dependent, for example, on location, age, income or mobility impairment. The principle to be followed is that the most accessible site to facilitate sustainable travel should be preferred wherever it is appropriate to meet the development need. In some cases, the most accessible sites are limited and may need to be protected through the planning system. This could include land or buildings that have potential to increase the future use of the railway or ensuring that key sites close to transport nodes are used for travel intensive purposes.

154. The County Council will work with the District Councils to develop appropriate accessibility criteria. This will provide more detailed guidance (including the relationship to both the strategic and local transport networks) to assess particular development proposals or inform individual planning decisions. This work will also help inform appropriate travel plans and car parking requirements.

Car Parking

155. The availability of car parking has a major influence on the means of transport people choose for their journeys. The reduction of car parking is a key part of the strategy to reduce the use of the private car. The County Council's current parking standards are set out below; these are in line (or in some cases stricter) than the guidance in PPG13 and RPG. The accessibility assessment referred to above will consider the need to review these countywide standards in different locations. Parking charges also have an important part to play; the Local Transport Plan will need to address the importance of consistency in parking charges as part of an integrated strategy.

County Council Parking Guidelines (Maximum Standards)
  Food Retail 1 sp/14 sqm GFA
                                   Non-food retail 1 sp/25 sqm GFA
  D2 including leisure 1 sp/25 sqm GFA
  B1 including offices 1 sp/35 sqm GFA
  B2 Employment 1 sp/50 sqm GFA
  B8 Warehousing 1 sp/200 GFA
  Hospitals 1 sp/4 staff +
1 sp/3 visitors +
  Higher and further education 1 sp/2 Staff + 1 sp/15 total Possible students
  All other schools 1 sp/2 staff
other spaces will require justification
  Stadia 1 sp/15 seats
  Cinemas/ conference/ places of worship 1 sp/5 seats
  Community centres 1 sp/5 sqm public floor space
  Food and Drink 1 sp/5sqm public floor space
  Housing 1 sp/unit where highly accessible
2 spaces/unit elsewhere
1½ spaces/unit not to be exceeded
overall larger developments
  Studios/ bedsits 1 sp/3 units
  Sheltered Housing 1 sp/4 units
  Old peoples homes 1 sp/6 residents
+ 1 space/2 staff
  Hotels 1 sp/bedroom allowance made for other facilities
  Disabled parking spaces 5% (min) of all uses
  Cycle provision 4% (min) of all uses
  Motorcycle/ moped provision 2% (min) of all uses

GFA - gross floor area.

Regional Spatial Strategy, Policy EC6

Policy EC6 provides guidance on town centres and retailing, it recommends that:

• large retail developments should be located in the centres of the Primary Urban Areas;
• development should be of an appropriate scale to the centre in which it is to be located and should be in keeping with their size and function of the centre;
• the vitality and viability of existing centres should be protected and enhanced by assessing the need for new development by applying the sequential approach in PPG 6 to site selection for both retail and leisure developments;
• no further development to construct or extend out-of-town shopping centres.; and
• development should be located to reduce the need to travel and contribute to the regeneration and environmental improvement of town centres.

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or phone 01736-753184

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