At a time when Michael Heseltine is proposing to undermine the authority of the structure plan in influencing local planning decisions, the authors of this paper find that it is the structure plan which offers most scope for a sane approach to retail planning. The existing system is one where there is either a lack of policy statements or where the plans are too limited in their scope, too localised to provide a sensible analysis of total retailing needs. This could have serious consequences for an industry so finely balanced, where the impact of new or redeveloped district centres has wide implications for the surrounding shopping centres.
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