Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Drop Box.

Have posted before over the extent to which high streets are feeling the effects of change, an article in the Sunday Times last weekend prompts further thoughts.

Heard of the wonder of online file sharing that is dropbox or the postal service centrally located storage for posties to collect. Many enforcement officers will know the problems of registered companies existing only in the ether that is a PO Box.

Its retail Jim but not as we know it.

As online shopping continues unabated (with the UK the second largest online shoppers in the world) online retailers are looking at ways to get the products to you at a time and place that's convenient (saving you one of the most frustrating elements of online shopping that is waiting for delivery/signing). (lets not forget the driving force that is massively cutting spirally growth in distribution costs and activities.

Imagine asking Siri what you fancy for dinner this evening or perhaps you are old fashioned and sitting at your desk at mid-morning, a couple of clicks later order your dress or shoes or even food (well they will be refrigerated soon too). Mid afternoon an email comes through to your screen and the code pushes to your iCloud automatically. At the station of your choice (or car park or cinema or supermarket - imagine your Tescos half its size, half the cost, half the floorspace with areas 'Argos' style given over to collection of pre-ordered goods?) you drop by the locker area, re-scan your code and collect. How long before the reception of your office has a drop zone?

Just as out of town shopping hit the town centre in the 80's and 90's, the spatial planning implications for high streets (and out of town - I can see the lawyers rubbing hands with glee at the prospect of all those S52's and S106s being changed and modified.) is clear and I wonder whether our LA planners and planning system is ready for this?

For sure they may well be receiving planning applications at a local authority officer near you very soon for locker zones and reception areas.

Now is your Plan up to date?

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