We need a healthy blend of retail choice

Michael Chambers Director for regeneration and development, British Property Federation

Sir; The British Property Federation welcomes the Competition Commission findings on the grocery market. We have called for the local plan-making process to pre-empt competition issues by establishing where retail developments should go. This will encourage vibrant and sustainable local and regional economies with a solid mix of town-centre and out-of-town developments. We support the Town Centres First policy, but this can sometimes lead to anomalies, leaving areas outside the centre with limited competition. This policy has to be flexible enough to overcome such problems. Hopefully, the findings can steer thinking away from a war between 'good' inner-city retailers and 'bad' out-of-town developments. Our towns need a healthy blend of choice that suits business and consumers. Local retail plans that can identify problems would serve to do this.