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6 g) Town Centres and Public Realm

Last Modified July 06, 2023

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Town Centres and Public Realm
Local Plan PoliciesNPPF paragraphs

SP1, SP2

23, 175


Reversing the decline and maintaining the health of town centres is critical to ensuring sustainable economic growth. Town centres need to become the focus of social and economic interaction, offering a range of services that are accessible to local people. Developing our town centres in a manner that is supported by local residents and local businesses alike will require new development to embrace the local vision of how they will operate now and in the future.

General approach

The council will work with key delivery partners to deliver Town Centre Improvement Strategies in Borehamwood, Potters Bar and Bushey. Once adopted, developers seeking to establish new, or refurbish existing, commercial floor space will be expected to contribute to the delivery of the relative strategy.

The council would not normally grant permission for large commercial floor space outside of the defined town centres. Where such a development is approved, the council will seek a direct financial contribution to be made towards any town centre strategy and planned public realm improvements relating to that proposal.

Town Centre Improvement Strategies and the Regulation 123 list will identify what projects are sought via s106 and which are to be delivered via CIL. Developers will not be required to contribute to projects that have been identified for CIL expenditure.


Commercial development ( ‘A’ and ‘B’ use classes) over 500 square metres in the defined town centres.*

Contribution to the delivery of Town Centre Strategies

Developments will be required to be consistent with the aims and objectives of the relevant Town Centre Improvement Strategy where the development is to be located. This may include the manner in which the development is operated, contributing to local events, design of development or the provision / maintenance of infrastructure (such as street furniture).


Commercial development (‘A’ and ‘B’ use classes) over 2,500 square metres outside of defined town centres.*

Off-Site Contribution to the delivery of Town Centre Strategies

Developments are expected to provide a direct financial contribution towards projects outlined in the Town Centre Improvement Strategy of any town centre that would be affected by the proposal.**


* Town Centres as defined by the adopted local plan.

** The effect of a proposal on established town centres will be determined through the Sequential Test and Sustainability appraisal undertaken as part of the application for consent. The Planning Practice Guidance provides more information on the Sequential Test.

Relevant Town Centre Strategies will appear on the Council’s website.

Prior to the adoption of a relevant Town Centre Strategy, specific local improvements may also be identified through the council’s Streetscape Manual and/or HCC Urban Transport Plans.



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