It is for local planning authorities to select appropriate sites for allocation for new development (including supermarkets) in their development plans and to determine whether the transport impacts of new developments are acceptable.
In selecting sites for new development in their development plans, Planning Policy Statement 6: Planning for Town Centres (PPS6) requires that local authorities should have regard to (i) whether the sites are or will be accessible and well served by a choice of means of transport, especially public transport, walking and cycling, as well as by car; and (ii) the impact on car use, traffic and congestion.
Planning Policy Guidance Note 13: Transport, states that where new development is likely to have significant transport implications, a Transport Assessment (TA) should be prepared and submitted with the planning application for the development. A TA should illustrate accessibility to the site by all modes and the likely modal split of journeys. It should also give details of the proposed measures to improve access by walking, cycling and public transport; to reduce the need for parking, and to mitigate transport impacts.
When considering planning applications, TAs will be used by local planning authorities to determine whether the transport impacts of new developments are acceptable.
Guidance on transport assessments was published by the DFT in March 2007.
Neither I, nor the Secretary of State, have any meetings planned with the senior managers of UK supermarkets at this time. However, officials are in regular contact with major supermarkets and their logistics partners and discuss issues relating to supply chains and the movement of freight around the UK.