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Early breakthrough spurs on ACS High Street Campaign

The ACS is accelerating its campaign to promote sustainable high streets after a breakthrough commitment from Minister Greg Clark to strengthen town centre first policy.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Early breakthrough spurs on ACS High Street Campaign

Speaking during a Committee session for the Localism Bill on Thursday, the Decentralisation and Localism Minister commended ACS for its ‘important work on this issue’ and stated his reassurance to the House that Government will strengthen and clarify town centre first policy in the forthcoming National Planning Policy Framework.

In the coming weeks, ACS will be calling on retailers to get behind the growing campaign by writing to their MP asking them to sign up to an early day motion backing the call for a new law on sustainable high streets.
ACS Chief Executive James Lowman said: “We are delighted by this breakthrough for the high streets campaign. This is the first time ministers have given explicit reassurance that they will retain strict protections for town, neighbourhood and village centres in national planning policy. The Minister has said that reform will clarify and strengthen the policy and we look forward to working with him to ensure that this is the case.

“However, we will continue to press for a change in the law as we strongly believe this is the only sure way to increase the resolve of councils that fear the legal resources of big developers. Without these clauses there is a still a risk of plans for big out of town stores being forced through, which would have a devastating effect on the long term prospects for our high streets.”

“The breakthrough statement from the Minister makes us even more determined, and now is the time for retailers to make their voice heard. We are co-ordinating a letter writing campaign asking retailers to write to their MP asking them to back the campaign.”

The Early Day Motion (no1453) tabled by St Ives MP Andrew George and supported by MPs from all the major parties will be a key demonstration of Parliamentary support as the Localism Bill progresses.

 

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