In August 2003 I announced a review of the retail planning guidelines in regard to the floor space cap on retail warehouses contained in the guidelines. The guidelines currently prescribe a maximum floor area of 6,000 sq. m. gross retail floor space for large scale single retail warehouse development. This cap is now being reviewed, taking account of the need to ensure effective competition in this sector of retailing and ongoing developments in retail formats, while also having regard to issues of proper planning and sustainable development. Central to this review will be the potential impact of the national spatial strategy on the guidelines and the need to ensure that cities and towns have the range of retail facilities that supports their attractiveness and competitiveness for investment and population growth.
To assist in carrying out the review, I invited interested parties to make submissions to my Department. Some 71 submissions were received by and are now being assessed. They will be fully taken into account in considering further whether any changes are needed in the guidelines. I expect that the process will be completed shortly.