Large format retailers welcome new land use definitions

Updated retail land use definitions introduced by the NSW Government will make it easier for large format retailers to provide goods and services for customers, effective August 31.

The changes will significantly assist specialised goods retailers, such as bedding, furniture, and household appliances, by cutting red tape and giving them more choice on how the businesses are run.

“Large format retailers will no longer be required to have both a large area for handling, display and storage and direct vehicle access to loading facilities for members of the public as only one of these requirements have to be met,” NSW department of planning and environment deputy secretary for policy and strategy Alison Frame said.

“The amendment provides retailers with more choice on how to operate their businesses, and meet customer preference for a convenient, one-stop specialised retail experience.”

Large format retail already accounts for more than $68.2 billion, or 22.2 per cent, of all retail sales in Australia, but that figure is expected to grow as a result of the changes.

Large Format Retail Associate chief executive Philippa Kelly predicted the industry will be able to provide a further 43,000 full time equivalent direct and indirect jobs as a result of the changes.

“These amendments will give all retail stakeholders clarity, consistency and certainty,” Kelly said.

“Today’s announcement is the law catching up to the reality of the market which will unleash a new wave of investment in NSW.”

The changes also include a revised definition of neighbourhood supermarkets to include smaller supermarkets focused on convenience that encourage people to walk rather than drive to the premises, and are limited to a 1000sqm gross floor area.

“Councils will have also the option to allow local distribution premises, which enable the faster and cheaper delivery options demanded by online shoppers,” Frame said, adding that it will now be easier for councils to plan for the needs of their communities.

The new term is not intended to be used for services such as click-and-collect, but rather to expedite last mile-delivery solutions for couriers and other delivery agents.

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