Future of High Streets at stake in government planning reform
The Association of Convenience Stores has told Ministers that new retail planning guidance threatens diverse, vibrant high streets and communities.In its response to the Government's consultation on the new planning policy, ACS has called for the need test to be retained and for stronger guidance to promote diver sity to support planners dealing with powerful superstores and developers.
ACS Chief Executive James Lowman said: “A diverse retail offer underpins a successful community. The proposed planning reforms come at a time when high streets are under threat and therefore the stakes are high. Now is the time for decisive leadership from Government.
“The existing town centre first planning policy had been a qualified success, breaking the growth of retail development out-of-town. Now in the downturn we are seeing that trend being reversed, and this guidance needs to be crystal clear in promoting diversity and town centres.”
ACS has responded to the consultation by the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) on Planning Policy Statement 4: Planning for Prosperous Economies, which closes today (28th July.) The policy brings together all national planning policy related to economic development, the most important being Town Centre First policy.
Mr Lowman continued: “We oppose the complete removal of the 'need test', and instead we recommend the inclusion of a reformed 'need' test within the new impact assessment framework.”
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