The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) support the NSW Government’s move to making it easier for large format retailers to provide the goods and services their customers want by introducing new and updated retail land use definitions into law from 31 August.
NSW Department of Planning and Environment Deputy Secretary for Policy and Strategy Alison Frame said the planning amendments will cut red tape for retailers that handle specialised goods, such as bedding, furniture and household appliances, giving them more choice on how to run their businesses.
“These changes to the retail definitions are something the industry has been calling for to help them better meet the needs of their customers and it’s great that we’re able to meet those calls and introduce these amendments,” Ms Frame said.
“Large format retailers will no longer be required to have both a large area for handling, display and storage and direct vehicle access to loading facilities for members of the public as only one of these requirements needs to be met.”
“The amendment provides retailers with more choice on how to operate their businesses, and meet customer preference for a convenient, one-stop specialised retail experience.”
Philippa Kelly, CEO of the Large Format Retail Association, welcomed the new definition for specialised retail premises.
“The new amendment will deliver increased certainty for businesses and a better shopping experience for the wider community. It provides clarity and consistency and allows retailers to cater to the changing needs of our customers,” Ms Kelly said.
Ms Kelly said that she would continue to work with the NSW Government to ensure that the planning system best reflects the evolving nature of the industry.
Ms Frame said the changes also include a new definition of ‘neighbourhood supermarkets’ which allows smaller supermarkets that will provide a convenient option for customers and will encourage people to walk, rather than use a car when doing their daily shopping.
“Councils will have also the option to allow ‘local distribution premises’ which enable the faster and cheaper delivery options demanded by online shoppers,” Ms Frame said.
“The new definitions provide clarity and certainty for retailers and make it easier for councils to plan for the local needs of their communities.”
Russell Zimmerman, Executive Director of the ARA, said the ARA and their friends at the Large Format Retail Association were crucial in implementing changes for ‘Specialised Retail Premises’ through their submissions to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.
“Our submissions on retail land use definitions and retail planning discussion papers assisted the NSW Government in allowing more competition in the retail leasing space for small and medium enterprise (SME) retailers in NSW,” Mr Zimmerman said.
“The ARA will continue to work with the Large Format Retail Association and the NSW Government in promoting the changes to retailers in NSW.”
For more information on the amendment to the Standard Instrument Local Environmental Plan (SI LEP), visit www.planning.nsw.gov.au/retailamendments
For more specific details on the amendment visit, http://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/Policy-and-Legislation/Planning-System-Circulars