MPs have voted 174-17 in favour of legislation that could give smaller retailers more of a fighting chance against the big supermarkets.

The Sustainable Communities Bill is designed to give local councils and community bodies more control over planning decisions in their area and a greater say on local spending priorities.

Having passed its second reading, the Bill will now go through to the committee stage, where MPs will decide on exact details. It will then be submitted to another Commons vote, expected to be in April.

“We are very pleased that this bill has made it through the latest parliamentary hurdle,” said a spokesman for the Association of Convenience Stores.

“It confirms the deep concern that MPs have about the future of the UK local shops and we will continue to press for their support to be turned into action.”