This week in Parliament I supported a motion against the Government’s changes which deny communities the right to shape their high streets.
The Government’s new rules mean that a number of types of business will no longer have to apply for permission to convert a building for a new business or residential use. This will make it easier for payday lenders, fast food restaurants and other businesses to continue their sprawl along the high streets.
I would like to see new powers given to councils and local people to support their high streets, by allowing councils to encourage the types of businesses they want to see whilst cutting down on the spread of others. A ‘retail diversity policy’ would call on local planning authorities to make a plan for all the retail centres in their area. This would provide the joined up approach to high street regeneration that is so desperately needed.