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Local Development Framework evidence base for employment and retail

LDF evidence base: employment and retail.

Employment land study

The term 'employment land' refers to land in use as offices, workshops, industry, warehousing and storage.

We commissioned an updated Employment Land Study (ELS) from AECOM to inform preparation of the new integrated Local Plan. The ELS will inform our future approach to the provision, protection, release or enhancement of employment land and premises.

At this stage the ELS is for information only and does not form part of our policy framework.

The existing employment and industrial land policies contained within the adopted Local Plan documents and the supporting evidence base documents continue to provide the most up-to-date policy context.

Retail evidence base

Retail capacity study

The Retail Capacity Study (RCS) was published in 2009 and reviews the existing retail provision in the borough. It assesses the retail need and capacity for additional convenience and comparison retail floorspace in the borough to 2016.

The RCS undertakes a sequential approach of all the town and district centres and examines potential sites that may be capable of accommodating additional retail floorspace in accordance with national planning policy.

An addendum to the RCS was prepared in 2010. This provides:

  • guidance on the continuing validity of the RCS in the context of the publication of PPS4 (December 2009) and any changes in the base data/other assumptions and
  • an updated analysis of the land uses and recommendations on the appropriate primary and secondary (core and non-core) areas within each of the nine defined Major and District town centres in the borough.

Retail surveys

We undertake regular retail surveys of different shopping parades and centres across the borough. The surveys look at the ground floor uses and vacancies in each of the shopping areas and provide a useful record of any changes or trends over the years.

Our retail hierarchy groups shopping areas of different sizes and functions together. The hierarchy is as follows:

Major town centres

  • Lewisham and Catford.

District centres

  • Blackheath, Deptford, Downham, Forest Hill, Lee Green, New Cross/New Cross Gate and Sydenham.

Neighbourhood local centres

  • Brockley Cross, Crofton Park, Downham Way, Grove Park and Lewisham Way.

Local parades

  • There are over 80 local parades in the borough.

Hot food take-away paper

In recent years the number and location of hot food take-away shops in the borough has caused concern locally with individuals and organisations. The wider issues of the health challenges around obesity and the benefits of healthy eating have attracted attention nationally and have highlighted the role that local authorities have in seeking positive solutions.​​

We are currently preparing a Development Management Local Plan to set out detailed planning policies for the borough. The hot food take-away paper draws together information about obesity, deprivation and take-away shops in Lewisham and the UK and will provide the evidence base for any policy put forward in the emerging local plan to address the number and location of take away-shops.

Bell Green retail capacity assessment

The Bell Green Retail Capacity Assessment was produced by consultants on behalf of the London Borough of Lewisham for the former gas works site appeal. The information in this document also served as an update to the Retail Capacity Assessment and Site Allocation Study 2004.