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To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent discussions he has had with supermarket retailers on opening new stores in town centres.
BIS Ministers have not recently discussed the locations of new store openings with representatives of the major grocery retailers. Such issues are commercial decisions for the companies involved, and local planning decisions rest, quite rightly, with local planning authorities.
The Government are committed to supporting high streets and town centres, as evidenced by our response to the recommendations of the Mary Portas Review.
The new National Planning Policy Framework maintains a strong town centre first policy and makes clear that local councils should recognise their centres as the heart of their communities and pursue policies to support town centre viability. The framework makes clear that we want town centres to be competitive and provide customer choice and a diverse retail offer.