Gummer moves against out-of-town retail 'sheds'
Thursday 20 July 1995
Campaigners who have fought the rapid spread of warehouse malls and superstores across Britain welcomed the new document.
But they pointed out that it did not amount to a ban on out-of-town development, nor did it deal with the hundreds of proposals already granted planning permission by councils but not yet built.
The new guidance on town centres and shopping development has to be heeded by councils when they draw up overall development plans and decide whether to approve development proposals.
It replaces and strengthens a text published just two years ago, soon after Mr Gummer became Secretary of State. ''It is a great advance on the last one, more categorical and detailed,'' said James Shorten, planning officer with the Council for the Protection of Rural England, after reading the guidance.
It says that the first option for new shopping development should always be in the town centre.
If that is deemed impossible, then the next priority should be developing on the edge of town centres.
New out-of-town centres are at the bottom of the list of priorities, and they should not get planning permission if they harm the vitality and viability of nearby town centres.
If the proposed development cannot be reached by public transport, this will further reduce the chance of getting planning permission.
The same priority scheme will apply to other developments which attract large numbers of people, such as offices, colleges and leisure facilities, including cinemas and sports centres.
The guidance also calls for mixed-use buildings and areas, in which homes, workplaces and shops are intermingled.
But Mr Gummer is also telling councils that they must provide plenty of attractive and reasonably priced car parking in town centres to encourage shoppers to drive in.
Parking tariffs should be structured so that commuters bringing their cars into town centres to park face high bills and shoppers visiting for a couple of hours much lower ones, he believes.
Town centres must have safe, abundant and affordable car parking for shoppers in order to compete with the out-of-town malls, or ''sheds on the bypass'' as he calls them.
Environmental campaigners are far less happy with this part of the advice, fearing that it discourages the switch from private car to public transport that they advocate. Pressure groups, businesses and councils now have 10 weeks in which to comment on the draft guidance.
- 1 Autistic adults could take pure MDMA to 'reduce social anxiety'
- 2 Stolen Instagram photo sells for $90,000
- 3 Before you complain about your GP, this is what you need to know about actually doing the job
- 4 Charlie Charlie Challenge explained: not a Mexican demon being summoned — it's gravity
- 5 Paracetamol Challenge: Mother of girl killed by overdose pleads with teenagers not to take part
Iran launches anti-Isis cartoon competition 'to expose true nature of Islamic State'
'Don't blame all men for rape' campaign backfires spectacularly
Fifa corruption arrests: How Chuck Blazer rinsed money from the beautiful game
Fifa corruption live: Uefa to consider pulling teams from Fifa tournaments if Blatter stays
Ukip MP Douglas Carswell says he felt his safety was 'seriously at risk' after he was surrounded by anti-austerity protesters
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the South East's fastest growing full s...
£35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...
£30000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Estimating, preparation of tech...
£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will work as part of a smal...