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Cushman & Wakefield are instructed to make representations to the Colchester Borough 'Preferred Options' Local Plan on behalf of Fenwick Ltd. As you know, Fenwick has recently fully re-opened its Williams and Griffin Department Store in Colchester High Street following a considerable period of refurbishment.
We welcome the Preferred Options document and notably the continued commitment to Colchester Town Centre as the focus for investment, in order to support exiting larger retailers such as Fenwick, alongside the significant proportion of small shops and sole traders present in the centre.
We support the Council's spatial policy, set out in Policy SG1 which identifies Colchester Town Centre as the most accessible and sustainable location for future growth within the Borough. We also support the identification of Colchester Town Centre at the top of the Spatial Hierarchy (Table SG1) and as the priority location for future growth and new development to help sustain the town centre's vitality and viability.
In order to sustain the Centre Hierarchy and ensure the pre-eminence of Colchester Town Centre, development can and should be located within the town centre as priority to sustain and enhance vitality and viability and ensure that less sustainable development is not allowed which would impact the wider health of the centre. This approach is also consistent with National Guidance.
Policy TC1 sets out a preference for retail (particularly comparison) uses and supporting leisure, culture and food/drink uses in Colchester Town Centre. We support the need to encourage a mix of uses, with non-retail uses playing an increasingly important role in ensuring the vitality and viability of town centres.
We also note the Council, under Policy TC3, are promoting other town centre locations for enhancement and development, notably Vineyard Gate, of which we support.
We trust that these representations will be taken into account and look forward to future opportunities to engage with the Council as the Plan further evolves.