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Professional Town Planning Consultants Serving Leicestershire & Beyond

Mary Portas questions Governments commitment to ‘town centre’ first

Posted on by PlanRight

Speaking at the British Council of Shopping Centres (BCSC) annual conference yesterday afternoon, Portas said she was concerned that the government’s commitment to the policy was just a “PR exercise”.

Portas was asked by the government last year to investigate how town centres can be revived in the face of the growth of out-of-town and online shopping.

The government has said it will implement most of the recommendations of her review into town centres, published in December, including a stronger town centre first policy. However, it rejected her call for an “exceptional sign-off” for all new out-of-town retail developments

Portas said: “Since I put my recommendations in, there hasn’t been a huge move on. I will keep pushing the government but I don’t know who’s in there really fighting for that.”

Portas described the growth of out of town supermarkets as “the single biggest” factor in the decline of high streets because it removed groceries and therefore needs-based trips from town centres.

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