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LGA Concerned New Proposals will Increase High Street Clustering

August 5, 2014

betting shopsThe Local Government Association (LGA) has voiced concerns over the government’s latest consultation on reforms to the planning system. The main issue is the lack of powers to prevent clustering of business types in areas already suffering from saturation by betting shops and payday lenders.

With some betting firms threatening to close hundreds of stores this year, the LGA are worried that under the new proposals rival companies will be able to take over vacant shops without being required to apply for planning permission. Cllr Clyde Loakes, Vice-Chair of the Local Government Association’s Environment and Housing Board, believes that current policies will lead to a lack of diversity on the countries high streets. “Blanket national policies are not the answer,” he said. “Clustering of any type of shop or business can damage the character of an area and the local economy. In trying to solve the problem of the number of betting shops on our high streets, the government risks more areas being over-run with clusters of other types of shops and businesses, such as banks, nail bars, letting and estate agents, by creating a giant A1 retail class.”

Other proposals in the consultation include giving communities a greater say over development in their areas and making it easier to convert empty and redundant buildings into new homes. The consultation closes on September 24th.

You can view a copy of the Technical Consultation on Planning here