Almost half of English towns are within a 10-minute drive of five or more supermarkets, new research has claimed.

Forty-two percent of towns nationwide are within 10 minutes of five supermarkets, retail consultancy CACI found – a proportion that rises to 58% in the West Midlands.

Last month the Conserative party said that if elected it would revive the old ‘needs test’ – ditched by Labour – governing where supermarkets can develop new stores.

“At the moment if a local authority knocks back a supermarket chain, it simply throws more cash at the application, pulls in the best lawyers and wins on appeal,” Tory MP David Amess told the Daily Mail.

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Tories plot return of supermarket ‘needs test’ (23 February 2010)
Commission confirms competition test go-ahead (2 October 2009)