Introduce a retail diversity planning clause, putting communities in charge of the future of their local high streets. Local people and local retailers would have a say on any retail plans for their area, giving them the power to put the heart back into the high street.
Create a ‘competition test’ in the planning system, leading to greater choice and lower prices for shoppers. The test would ensure a level playing field between small and large shops.
- People like to take their car to go shopping – it’s convenient with those heavy bags – and town centres have hard to access parking that costs too much. Out-of-town retailing has ample, surface car parking that’s usually free. Unless Labour are planning to ban cars (or maybe just car parking) this will not change – people will continue to prefer out-of-town to the high street
- Even lazier folk have discovered the Internet and on-line shopping! Without leaving the cosy comfort of my house I can purchase – and have delivered to my door – all the good things I want. Good things that, in times past, I had to go to the high street to buy. Whatever you do with the planning system – short of banning home delivery or shutting of the Internet – the growth in on-line retail isn’t going to stop