Changes to planning policy within the Local Plan Review could see more eateries allowed in South Street.
Along with housing, the review contains planning policies such as the protection of retail in the city centre.
One policy is the definition of the city’s ‘primary shopping area’ as all four streets from the Market Cross.
Within that area, streets are divided into the ‘primary’ shopping frontage area, where non-retail use of shop space is limited to 25 per cent and the ‘secondary’ shopping frontage area, where non-retail use is capped at 75 per cent.
According to the preferred approach document, the primary frontage area could be reduced to exclude Crane Street and the portion of South Street outside of the pedestrianised zone. View the old map here.
This would mean more shops in South Street could gain planning permission to change into eateries or other non-retail buildings, such as estate agents or offices.
It would also allow for more café space in the remaining primary frontage streets, as South Street has a high proportion of eateries.
It comes as the latest shop monitoring figures show the city has already exceeded the 25 per cent non-retail limit, according to its current definition.
As of December, 25.43 per cent of the city’s primary shopping frontage was in non-retail use. In the secondary shopping frontage, 53.97 per cent was in non-retail use.