From time to time the Council commissions retail studies of the Borough and its catchment area to: inform the development plan; assist with the assessment of planning applications; and help in the management of the town centre. The most recent full study, the Darlington Retail Study 2008 [pdf document], was carried out by the consultant Martin Tonks of MT Town Planning and published in November 2008.
Martin Tonks was reappointed in 2010 to update the capacity assessment sections of the 2008 study to take into account the effects of the economic downturn on retail forecasts and of updated Government policy and methodology guidance in PPS4 and its companion practice guide. The 2010 Update to Darlington Retail Study 2008 was completed at the end of July 2010: Darlington Retail Study 2010 [pdf document]
2014 Update – Current Version
In November 2013 the Council commissioned White Young Green to undertake a Retail and Town Centre Study (September 2014) [pdf document], acting as an update of the 2010 study. The key purpose of this study was to provide an assessment of retail and leisure needs and capacity in the period to 2026, and to review the current performance of Darlington town centre, Cockerton and North Road district centres, and the six further local centres across the Borough.
Statistical Updates to Shopping Floorspace
Updates of changes in retail floorspace in the Borough since the 2008 study will be published on this webpage as part of the Council’s planning monitoring programme: Shopping Floorspace in Darlington, update to DRS, June 2011 [PDF document]