BRITAIN'S environment secretary John Gummer is determined to limit the development of super stores, to protect declining town centres.
Gummer's department issued guidelines that strengthen the position of local authorities resisting applications for super stores. The revised notes for local authority planners place greater emphasis on the need to maintain the vitality of town centres, and a spokesperson of the department stressed, "It is clearly not of benefit to consumers for town centres to collapse."
Planners point out the new guidelines are ambiguous. They say super-store owners can draw support from the emphasis that planning permission should not be refused unless there is clear evidence to suggest "the result would be to undermine the vitality and viability" of the town centre.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.