Core Strategy - Consultation Draft

Document Section Core Strategy - Consultation Draft Chapter 3: Spatial Policies Delivering a Prosperous Economy CS21: Retail Hierarchy and Provision CS21: Retail Hierarchy and Provision [View all comments on this section]
Comment ID 933217/CSCD/1
Respondent Deleted User [View all comments by this respondent]
Agent Deleted User
Response Date 17 Feb 2010
Current Status Accepted
We would like to take this opportunity to confirm our concerns regarding the reliability of the Retail and Leisure Study as part of the evidence base for the core strategy and also provide detailed comments on some of the core strategy policies.
Background Evidence
Our assessment of the Donaldsons retail study concluded that the report was unreliable in that there were errors in classifying the results of the household questionnaire. The incorrect interpretation of the survey manifested itself in an unrealistic situation whereby Portishead residents were shown as being more likely to do their main food shopping in the town, than their top-up shopping. This is inconsistent with generally accepted convenience shopping patterns.
Donaldsons concluded that 38% of top-up shopping was carried out in Portishead, we consider it more likely that a figure of around 78%, for the reasons set out in our retail assessment, is more realistic and robust.
The result being that the Donaldsons report is likely to have significantly under-estimated the market share of Portishead at that time.
Furthermore, the retail and leisure study is considered to be out of date, with the initial research upon which the report is based being 5 years old. This is important in the context of the significant quantum of development that has taken place in Portishead in the intervening period. We understand it is common ground with officers of the Council that there is an urgent need to update the study.
Accordingly, we would suggest that the 2006 Donaldsons Retail and Leisure study fails to provide a reliable and up-to-date study upon which to base the Core Strategy. Given the importance of this background document as part of the evidence base, we would question whether the conclusions drawn in relation to retail capacity and in particular, convenience goods capacity in North Somerset are robust.