...FOR APPROVAL PROCEDURES FOR LARGE-SCALE RETAIL PROJECTS
Compatibility or Impact Analyses
For retail trade projects which count as large-scale - i.e. with a sales area exceeding 800 m² or a total storey area of more than 1,200 m² - the approval procedure involves checking to see whether such a project would have significant effects on the town planning development and organisation, as well as on the realisation of the land use planning objectives in accordance with Section 11 Para. 3 of the German Land Use Ordinance (BauNVO).
In addition, in the analysis and evaluation of the specifications of the regional planning laws, the regional development plans and, if necessary, of the regional planning ordinances must, among other factors, be taken into account here. This check takes place within the framework of a qualified compatibility or effect analysis, which usually includes the following service components:
- Presentation of the project data (sector, business type, sales area, supplementary utilisations, parking space availability, etc.)
- Location description (description of the planned location and the relevant situation in the surrounding area) on the basis of up-to-date, on-the-spot surveys
- SWOT analysis with detailed analysis of the location features for the planned utilisation
- Description and evaluation of the competitive situation in the catchment area - particularly the shopping locations and/or local supply locations integrated in accordance with town planning regulations - on the basis of up-to-date, on-the-spot surveys
- Delineation and zoning of the potential catchment area, and ascertainment of the relevant socio-economic data (population, purchasing power level, purchasing power potential, etc.)
- Forecasting, including the development of population and purchasing power within the catchment area
- Analysis of the potential turnover to be expected at the planned object
- Presentation of the relevant general legal conditions (including specific regional planning specifications)
- Analysis of the prospective purchasing power flows generated by the planned center in the area. Quantification of the decrease in sales at affected competitive locations and evaluation of the potential town planning and land use planning significance
- Analysis and evaluation of the possible effects on consumer supply
- Analysis and evaluation of the possible effects on traffic (calculation of the customer traffic volume to be expected at the planned location)
- Summary of the study and concluding evaluation of the planned project
Short Compatibility or Impact Checks
An initial appraisal of the effects connected with the establishment or expansion of large-scale retail trade utilisations and, thus, of the potential approvability of the project can be undertaken within the framework of a concise and low-cost short check.
On this basis, the size and/or utilisation concept of the planned center can be modified at an early stage - e.g. in the event of significant negative effects on town planning, information on land use regulations and local retail supply is included, so that compatibility and thus approvability will be more probable.
In this way, unnecessary expenditure and extensive replanning measures can be avoided. A detailed effect or compatibility analysis conforming to the requirements of the building authorities can thus be drawn up on the basis of such a short check at any time.
Professional examination of existing expert's reports
Experts are not infallible. Moreover, practical experience shows that expert's reports are frequently sloppily researched, employ questionable methods, tend to cover up significant evaluation criteria rather than presenting them openly, or in some cases cannot detach themselves from the influence of groups with specific interests.
In the case of any indications of such tendencies, ecostra can carry out an examination and critical appraisal of an existing expert's report with regard to the data used, the methods, the line of argument and the conclusions.
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