New report calls on Boris Johnson to give councils more powers

London Assembly demands more protection for independent retailers

The London Assembly has called on Mayor Boris Johnson to help councils protect independent shops from big retail developments.

In its Cornered Shops report, the Assembly calls for changes to local, regional and national planning policies to boost protection for small shops and give boroughs more power to reject or negotiate applications from large retailers.

More than 7,000 independent shops closed down in London between 2001 and 2007, and 78 per cent of independent retailers say their biggest threat is supermarkets, the Assembly claims.

Deputy chair of the planning and housing committee, Jenny Jones, said: “People in residential areas need local shops that provide essential services that they can walk to. They do not need rows of betting shops and internet cafes, or to have to travel to supermarkets by car.

“The Mayor must lead on changing the planning system to empower boroughs to take back control of their high streets and protect local shops from further decline.”

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