The Association of Conven-ience Stores is to use this autumn's party conferences to call for a local shop-friendly planning regime.

It will host a series of fringe meetings organised with Friends of the Earth and the Co-operative Group.

Your Local Shop: Its Future? events will take place at Labour, Liberal Democrat and Conservative conferences, with high-level speakers from each party.

The events will take place against the backdrop of the Barker Review, which c-store campaigners believe poses a threat to the future of small shops.

In an interim report published earlier this year, the review recommended a liberalisation of planning rules to enhance competition in sectors including retail. This could clear the way for more out-of-town supermarket sites.

James Lowman, director of public affairs for the ACS, said: "Last year we took our campaign for a Competition Commission inquiry into the grocery market to the party conferences. Now the key political issue to address is planning."

Sandra Bell, Friends of the Earth's supermarkets campaigner, said: "Local shops on our high streets are under threat from the dominance of supermarkets. Plans to free up more out-of-town development could be the last straw."