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Regional Planning and Development: Retail Trade

Volume 481: debated on Tuesday 21 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what research she has (a) commissioned, (b) evaluated and (c) undertaken on the effects of planning regulation upon small independent retailers; and whether such research includes analysis of the effects of large-scale, out-of-town developments on small retailers. (227614)

Our “Proposed Changes to Planning Policy Statement 6: Planning for town centres”, published for consultation on 10 July 2008, which seeks to improve the effectiveness of our town centre policy and strengthen our policy protection for small shops, and the vitality and viability of town centres, was accompanied by a detailed assessment of the impact of our proposals and the supporting evidence base. The assessment takes account of a number of studies, particularly the Parliamentary All Party Small Shops Group report “High Street Britain: 2015”, published in 2006, and the detailed analysis by the Competition Commission groceries market investigation into the extent to which there are distortions in competition between large grocery retailers and convenience store operators. Our assessment has also drawn upon a number of other studies to inform our proposals, including:

1. Our research report on the “Policy Evaluation of the Effectiveness of PPG6” which we published in 2004;

2. Research into “The role and vitality of Secondary Shopping”, published by the National Retail Planning Forum in 2004, which was co-sponsored by the Department;

3. The “Smaller Towns Report”, published by the British Council of Shopping Centres in 2004; and

4. A report on the future of retail property “In town or out of town?”, published by the British Council of Shopping Centres in 2006.