Redevelopment Plans - 25 'vital and viable' priorities

Research from the Institute of Place Management at Manchester Metropolitan University has identified the Top 25 priorities that can influence high street vitality and viability. This resource introduces the 'Redevelopment Plans' priority - why it matters, and what you can do about it.

Date added 17 August 2021
Last updated 17 August 2021

What are the 25 vital and viable priorities?

Research from the Institute of Place Management at Manchester Metropolitan University has identified the Top 25 priorities that can influence high street vitality and viability.

The framework was created by experts from a range of disciplines and other stakeholders to foster cross-disciplinary knowledge and broadening real-world understanding of the changing nature of the high street.

The 25 priorities are practically orientated and, given their ability to be controlled or influenced at a town level, are fairly internally focussed. For each of the priorities you will find an introduction to evidence that describes the priority, suggests what it covers, discusses how it might be implemented and the level of control associated with it.

Additionally, you will find suggestions of what the priority could mean for implementation during the COVID-19 recovery stage.

Redevelopment Plans

Factors included in Barriers to Redevelopment Plans

Planning Blight; Regeneration







12th out of 25

4.02 out of 5

Very Influential


24th out of 25

2.86 out of 4

More difficult to control

25 Priorities

24th out of 25


High priority


Planning for redevelopment of the high street or a town centre is a complex process involving developers, planners, landowners, investors, community groups, and businesses. Redevelopment plans can often exclude and silence the relevant and most vulnerable stakeholder groups (e.g. small businesses, consumers, residents) in favour of ‘high-returning’ redevelopment projects that are influenced by corporate capital and desensitise people from their place (Doak and Karadimitriou, 2007). Furthermore, town centre regeneration, where misguided can stall plans and leading to situations that have a negative impact on town centres and high streets. It is therefore important to address the role of redevelopment plans in the future of the high street.

Why does it matter? (Influence)

Planning in high streets and town centres has been focused in recent years on attracting retailers, with planning policies such as PPG6 prioritising town centres for new retail development. The role of place management is key in such initiatives, as place management bodies are drivers of inner-urban revitalisation and regeneration in the town (Otsuka and Reeve, 2007). However, the rise of internet retailing and the increasing competition from out-of-town shopping centres and retail parks means that planning legislations need to accommodate strategies for housing, commercial, and office developments, and the development of spaces that create walkable, safe, comfortable, and interesting environments (Millington et al., 2015). Indeed, the old model of accommodating the car user and the retailer is problematic; Peel and Parker (2017: 404) state that “understanding high street degeneration and the limitations of a retail-only led policy focus as a ‘wicked issue’ further demands socially constructing town centres as an ecosystem requiring a holistic response”. It is therefore important for local authorities and stakeholders to spearhead the discussions regarding high street redevelopment, and avoid falling into the traps of planning blight by restricting the types and the extent of future developments and allowing for the economic and social decay of the high street (Imrie and Thomas, 1997).

What can you do about it? (Control)

As Doak and Karadimitriou (2007: 222) say, “redevelopment is never a straightforward process; actors will join, others will bail out or be excluded, changing conditions at home and in faraway lands will constantly affect the possible outcomes”. It is important to mediate the process of redeveloping the high street for the public good, by including multiple active place stakeholders who will prioritise the collective public good along with private interests in the process of regeneration (Rao and Summers, 2016). Having a broad range of partners in the discussions regarding redevelopment of the high street is necessary to progressing the vision, as “councils cannot rely on their statutory planning processes to keep pace – so by being willing to work in a more consultative and collaborative way they can be influenced by a richer and more contemporary source of information and insight brought by a wider set of stakeholders” (Peel and Parker, 2017: 414).

Redevelopment plans and COVID-19

During the Covid-19 pandemic, it is important to continue progress with planning decisions, as they are an important factor in creating economic momentum. Public redevelopment plans, traffic management schemes and regeneration programmes should be revised in partnership with the community as data on the economic impact of Covid-19 becomes clearer. Where possible, and where plans are of sufficient local significance, confirmatory public engagement should take place. Delivery of these plans should consider new ways of working and be integrated into the place management regime. Eventually, planning for successful high streets should be people-centred and engaging. Developers that have a greater understanding of the needs and desires of local people and major developments are more able to accommodate these. With more sophisticated data, regeneration plans will be more able to assess the balance between different stakeholders, maintaining vitality and viability for all.

See also

Place Management; Diversity; Adaptability; Functionality; Liveable; Attractiveness