Basildon Leisure Park Basildon
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@ Steven Norris
Steve Norris
Head of Retail and Town Centre Consultancy
020 7529 1527 email me about Steve

Steve heads up the National Retail and Town Centre Consultancy team based in London’s West End, following the acquisition of Strategic Perspectives (which formed part of Planning Perspectives) in December 2014.  Steve has over 20 years’ experience as a planning consultant advising local planning authorities, regeneration bodies, developers, operators, investors and landowners on all aspects of town centre, retail, leisure and economic development and planning.  His expertise ranges from preparing site (sequential) appraisals, capacity/impact assessments and spatial strategies/visions for town centres to help inform plan-making and decision-taking; through to acting as expert witness at Appeal, Call-In, Local Plan and CPO inquiries. 

His local authority clients include Nottingham City, Warwick District, Guildford Borough, Great Yarmouth, Basingstoke, Rugby, Harlow, Hull City, West Devon, Mid Sussex, Nuneaton & Bedworth and Kings Lynn Councils.  He is also providing retail and economic planning advice for wide range of developers, investors and occupiers to help unlock the value of existing and new assets/sites in different locations, including for Hermes, Realm, Salmon Harvester, Land Securities, Threadneedle, Aviva, Benson Elliot, Quidnet and Wilson Bowden. Steve was one of a handful of consultants invited by the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to advise upon the retail planning and town centre elements of the National Planning Policy Framework and National Planning Policy Guidance, having previously advised the Government on PPS4 Town Centre Good Practice Guidance on Need, Impact and the Sequential Approach.  He is also an active member of the British Council of Shopping Centres (BCSC), where he sits on the Planning Working Group; a Board Member of the National Retail Planning Forum (NRPF); a member of the Association of Town Centre Management (ATCM); and chair of the annual RTPI Retail and Town Centre Conference.

Prior to this Steve’s PhD assessed the potential impact of Regional Shopping Centres on town centre vitality and viability.

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Carter Jonas has provided planning advice to Aviva since 2011 on Basildon Leisure Park that has helped to secure permissions for new uses and floor space as part of the client’s asset management strategy for this major leisure destination in Essex.

Carter Jonas’s Regeneration, Retail and Town Centre Consultancy team has advised Aviva since 2011 on the planning and asset management of Basildon Leisure Park in Essex. The Leisure Park is one of the largest leisure and employment parks in the South East of England, comprising over 25,000 sqm of commercial leisure space and serving a catchment population of over one million people. Key leisure operators include Empire Cinema, Fitness First, Hollywood Bowl, Wakeboard Park, Luninar nightclub and bar; a Travelodge hotel; and a range of food and beverage operators.

Since 2011 Carter Jonas Regeneration, Retail and Town Centre Consultancy team has successfully acted for Aviva in helping to securing planning permissions for major improvements to the leisure park; including changes of use, variation of conditions and extensions to the existing floorspace and offer. In each case we have been able to demonstrate to the local planning authority, members, key town centre stakeholders, the local community and businesses that the application proposals are in compliance with national and local plan policy; namely that they could not be accommodated in the town centre (sequential test) and that they would not result in a significant adverse impact on Basildon Town Centre.

Over the years our planning advice has helped to secure permission for circa 2,500 sq m of new Class A3 uses; a new children's soft play centre (3,000 sq m); the reconfiguration of the nightclub to provide 2,000 sqm of new space; the installation of security infrastructure; and general upgrade works to the scheme and public realm. The leisure park redevelopment has subsequently attracted new operators to the area, including the American-themed restaurant chain Coast to Coast.