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From independent store to supermarket – Unlikely?

On 10 July 2012, the House of Commons was presented with a Private Members Bill which aims to better control the use of former independent retail stores and public houses as supermarkets.

The Bill was presented by Julian Huppert (Lib Dem MP for Cambridge) and will be read by the Commons for a second time later this year.

The idea behind the Bill is to “Enable local planning authorities (LPAs) to require the granting of planning permission prior to the demolition or change of use of premises or land used or formerly used as a public house or local independent shop, to enable local planning authorities to require the granting of planning permission if premises or land will be used for a supermarket; and for connected purposes…. Technically, it would allow the use of locally determined use classes to separate local independent shops from chains, and supermarkets from other grocers, as well as placing new constraints on changing use away from pubs.”

If the Bill is successful, individual LPAs could choose to require specific planning permissions for change of use from independent retail store or public house to supermarket. As present, the change is readily permitted under the current Use Classes detailed in the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987. Therefore, the Bill would make it more difficult for supermarket chains to take up residence on our high streets.

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Beth Laidler

Commercial Property
0113 227 9209
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Beth Laidler Blacks Solicitors LLP