The City Council propose to produce an updated retail and leisure study for Stoke-on-Trent. The current North Staffordshire Retail and Leisure Study was produced in 2005 and is in need of refreshing to underpin the preparation of site allocation development plan documents (DPD). This will ensure that the City Council has up to date retail evidence when considering plan preparation, determining planning applications and for the underpinning of any future use of compulsory purchase powers.
But in the Councils Tender Document for consultants to produce they retail study, they have already declared there Key Retail Aim
“The first of those DPDs the Core Spatial Strategy was adopted in October 2009, The Core Spatial Strategy is based on a target regeneration for Stoke-on-Trent. The City Centre/Hanley is the priority for investment and regeneration, retail development in the form of City Sentral is key to this.”
This independent retail and leisure study will then be used as evidence for compulsory purchase orders for City Sentral.
How can this retail and leisure study remain unbiased, when in the Tender Document the Council has laid out its key aim for retail within the City.