Monday, May 14, 2007

Keep the Supermarket Needs Test.

I learned today that the governments planning white paper due to be published either tomorrow or Wednesday will abolish the 'Supermarket Needs Test'.

These are a set of guidelines that our local council can use to see whether there is a need for a new supermarket. This is important because too many supermarkets in an area can destroy town centre or high street trade. I have personally seen this in the town near where my mother lives, out of town supermarkets and some bad planning decisions have created a ghost town, even the pound shops are closing.

We have a vibrant town centre in Leamington and in Warwick we have a diverse range of specialist shops and traditional stores which are already under pressure.

If our council cannot say ‘No’ to supermarkets when they are not needed, how will they ever be able to stop them undermining our high streets.

I’m calling on the government not to scrap the ‘supermarket needs test’ and to give power back to our local community so we can save our town centre and help it grow into the hub of our sustainable, vibrant community.

Sign my petition. - Keep the Supermarket Needs Test.


Tristan said...

Need is determined by the market.
If there's no need then the supermarket is not sustainable so it will go out of business or not be opened in the first place.

Alan Beddow said...

Hi Tristan,

In some ways I agree, however supermarkets are able to use their dominance in the market to undercut smaller retailers which in turn reduces trade in the high street impacting other retailers.

It is a difficult balance and I feel local councils should retain powers to asses the impact on the town centre as a whole.