A new report highlighting the importance of local shops to communities in London has got the backing of the ACS (Association of Convenience Stores).
The study, Cornered Shops – London Small Shops and the Planning System, has been published today by the London Assembly.
ACS Chief Executive James Lowman said: “The London Assembly has made an important and timely intervention into a vitally crucial policy debate. Communities need and value local shops, but there is an overall trend of decline in store numbers that is taking away this much needed service in communities.
“We agree that planning policy plays a fundamental part in promoting a vibrant future for the local shops. We share the Assembly’s concerns about the implementation of national ‘town centre first’ planning policy. Since new policy was issued in December implementation has been confused and inconsistent. We are calling on Ministers to step in to get the policy back on track.
“We agree with the Assembly every Council has a role to play in promoting local shops. They must proactively plan for the protection and growth of their local shops and neighbourhood shopping centres. Today across the country too many Council’s have no proactive plans in place and are forced to react piecemeal to an agenda dominated by the supermarket developers.
“ACS has worked with the Mayor and the Assembly to increase awareness of the planning priorities related to local shops. We are now focused on building on this vital report to effect real change in London and across the country.”