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Out of Town Shopping Centres

Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 10th July 2013.

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Photo of Chris Ruane Chris Ruane Labour, Vale of Clwyd

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what progress he has made following the Portas Review to introduce exceptional sign off for all new out-of-town developments and require all large new developments to have an affordable shops quota.

Photo of Mark Prisk Mark Prisk The Minister for Housing

The Government's response to the Portas review, published in March 2012, made clear that we did not endorse this particular recommendation and would not be taking it forward.

The National Planning Policy Framework asks local councils to recognise town centres as the hearts of their communities and pursue policies to support their viability and vitality. It sets out clearly that local councils should require new town centre uses to be located in existing town centres out of preference. It also sets out that where there are no suitable and viable sites in town centres for new main town centre uses, permission should be refused where a proposal outside of a town centre would have a likely significant adverse impact on existing town centres. My the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, my right hon. Friend Mr Pickles, already has wide discretion to call-in planning applications of sufficient significance for his determination, which would include consideration as to whether proposals conflict with our policy on town centres. Although the Government clearly supports the affordability of shops, we are concerned that requiring a quota of affordable shops in all large new development would have adverse impacts on town centres.

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