Normanton Road is part of the district shopping centre of Normanton and Peartree. It represents the second largest concentration of shops in Derby.
Normanton is an active and vibrant centre that caters for residents from very varied backgrounds; creating demand for specialist foods.
Our client runs a successful Eastern European foods delicatessen adjacent to the site. The site is a former petrol station which is used as a temporary hand car wash. Our clients’s aim is to build a larger shop on the site, clear away the petrol station and construct a single storey building. The site is surrounded by retail premises and there is a public car park across the road.
This is an ideal place for a retail unit but with no on-site parking or servicing, the highway team at Derby City Council were concerned that a single 1,000sq.m unit could generate significant traffic and lead to congestion from delivery vehicles, as well as customers. Normanton serves a local population and for most customers the delicatessen is one of a number of linked trips.
We commissioned a highway report which identified that most trips were indeed linked and that most customers came by foot or by bus/ taxi. The car park nearby is empty for most of the time, and few customers arrive by car. Servicing was similar to many other shops (some much larger) and did not present a problem in highway terms.
Permission was granted under delegated powers. The application raised a number of issues around sustainable transport development. Town and District centre shops should not have their own car parks; higher tier shopping centres in towns and in areas like Normanton need shared facilities and good access to public transport to promote walking and cycling but also to build community understanding and cohesiveness. The private car takes up a large amount of space; it fractures communities because people do not have to meet or speak to each other, and it creates pollution. The future city is one without cars but for many transport officers they are wedded to the car and will take time to change. Climate change concerns are creating more pressure for change and as retailing habits alter out of town retailing divorced from communities may become an anachronism of late twentieth century living.
Image: Thanks to Woore Watkins Ltd