The last decade has seen considerable change in the retail sector. The appearance and function of the traditional high-street has changed. Coffee shops have replaced mobile phone shops, but shoppers are now as likely to browse online through their mobile phones than they are to browse through the aisle of a high-street store. That pace of change is likely to accelerate as some types of outlets specialise and others generalise, and the retail sector will have to continue to adapt to changing consumer preferences.
From a consumer’s perspective, the trend of shopping being something people choose to do rather than just do out of necessity, will drive retail operators and retail developers to invest more in their retail spaces to create better retail experiences. While technology and online portals can fulfill the purely functional need to shop, the retail experience of a bustling shopping centre or busy store will continue to offer something a screen cannot.
In response to the busier lives of consumers and ever-increasing demands on their time, convenience will be ever-more sought after. The evolution of the filling station into a mini-market, food outlet, coffee shop, meeting place, rest place and general one-stop-shop is a classic case in point. The store network expansion of discount retailers sees no sign of slowing, and this will continue to eat into the market share of the longer-established multiples.
The right type of retail, of the right size in the right place, will be a key design consideration for stand-alone and mixed use developments, and will continue to be guided by the retail planning guidelines and the findings of retail impact assessments as projects are guided through the planning process.
Retail – Key Services
Our retail impact statements quantify existing retail floor areas, consider population demographics and projections and build a fully informed case for the need for additional retail space in a locality.
We manage the entire planning permission application process, or provide key inputs and planning advice. From advice at the pre-planning stage, through to preparing and managing the planning application or responding to further information requests, we help applicants or their project teams navigate a project through the planning process.
We can either lead the planning-phase design team or are equally happy to play out part as a team member. Our most experienced planners lead the consultations with the Planning Authorities, from the initial concept feasibility discussions right through to agreeing pre-commencement compliance requirements.
We compile comprehensive, robust and effective planning appeals or responses to grounds of appeal when a planning application is subject to an An Bord Pleanála appeal. We prepare responses to grounds of appeal when a successful planning application must be defended on appeal.
Where an application to a planning authority has been unsuccessful, our appeals focus on the planning arguments most relevant to An Bord Pleanála. Every appeal is individually tailored to the particulars of the project and the most relevant planning policy to give our clients the best possible chance of securing their desired outcome.
Our waste management plans can be prepared for the construction or operational phase of projects, to identify the types and volumes of waste arisings, opportunities for reuse and recycling, or where necessary, recovery or disposal.
Construction phase plans can also include demolition waste arisings were relevant and are often incorporated into our Environmental Management Plans.
We offer a client-focused project management service across all types of project and sectors. This includes full day-to-day management of any project from initial design to project close-out, overseeing design team and contractor activities, and coordinating all interfaces between the project team, clients and third parties.
We tailor our Project Management services to match the scale or complexity of the project and meet our client’s needs. We adapt our role as Project Manger to suit the client organisation’s resource availability, experience, and desire to play an active role in the project. Where appropriate client resources are not available, we can also fulfill a broader “Employer’s Agent” role. When engaged from project commencement, we advise on the most appropriate structure to successfully deliver the project and ensure that all project participants’ activities are fully aligned to achieve the project goals.
Our development potential reports (DPRs) help determine what a site might be able to accommodate by way of future development. We consider in detail the relevant planning policies that govern development standards for a particular area and outline this ruleset under which any future planning application will be considered.
We also study recent successful and unsuccessful precedent decisions, to ensure every opportunity for maximising the potential of a site is identified and used to inform any proposals brought forward. Our DPRs regularly help inform property and site valuations by identifying a site’s true potential.