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Positive planning

16 September 2011

As Mary Portas squares up to David Cameron over planning reform and its effects on town centres, Mr Pickles should note that it is not planning which is holding up town centre developments but the credit crunch. It is rare to see those “well heeled solicitors” he refers to fighting over town centre schemes, unless it involves competition between the likes of Sainsbury and Tesco as at Wolverhampton.

Even so, in one sense the Government is right; more councils need to engage in the process of positive planning rather than being on the defensive against the supermarkets, which is what will happen once the National Planning Policy Framework comes into place early next year. However Mary has a point and I believe that in respect of retail planning a transition period is required to enable councils to move swiftly to put new plans and policies into place for town centres.

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