National retailers could face a hike in costs and bureaucracy under the new Decentralisation and Localism Bill proposed in the Queen's Speech, according to the BRC.

The Bill, one of 22 put forward by the government, aims to give greater powers to local councils and communities over issues such as planning.

However, there is concern this regulation could extend further into other areas such as business rates, licensing laws, transport policy and even regional minimum wages.

"Local authorities could have more control over where a store can be built, what hours they can open and the licensing hours to sell alcohol," said a BRC spokesman. "The business rates regime is set by national government and there have often been calls for this to be relocalised. We don't want this, as there is a potential for them to go up."

Other Bills that raised concern included the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill, which proposes reform of the Licensing Act including higher charges for late-night licences; and the Identity Documents Bill, which would scrap the planned ID cards. The ACS said it wanted ministers to show their commitment to existing proof-of-age schemes.