The government document widely known as the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) has been altered to better town centres
After months of campaigning, the NPPF has been changed to help the planning of British high streets. Changes include; moving the town centre development notes from page 19 to page 7 and wording throughout the report has been changed.
The original section heading which referred to town centres suggested planning authorities 'Promote the vitality and viability of town centres'. That has been replaced by the stronger 'Ensuring the vitality of town centres'.
The steps to simplify the planning system send out the right message that retailers and the rest of the private sector should be supported in their ambitions to grow, invest and create jobs. A presumption in favour of sustainable development will help.
Tom Ironside, director of business for the British Retail Consortium,said, "For too long the planning system has been a brake on growth - complicated, costly and slow. These practical measures are a marked improvement and should help bring a boost to local economies.
"Retail is a competitive, innovative sector which looks to the government to create the right conditions for growth. Making the system more transparent and efficient will enable development and should play a key role in efforts to revitalise England's troubled high streets," he says.