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CAR PARK LIMITS MAY HALT NEW SUPERSTORES

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Deputy prime minister John Prescott is considering plans which would effectively block the development of new super...
Deputy prime minister John Prescott is considering plans which would effectively block the development of new supermarkets, cinemas and out-of-town office parks in the south east of England,

according to Sunday Business (p2).

If implemented, the proposals would dramatically reduce the number of car parking spaces allocated to new developments. For example, an average-size supermarket built in a town centre would receive just

25 parking spaces instead of the usual 500 and out-of-town stores would receive no allocation at all.

'The ratios they have proposed would be comercially unviable and would effectively block the development of new supermarkets in the south east', said peter Todd, a partner at property consultants

Jones Lang Wootton.

The report, Parking Standards in the South East, was comissioned and published by the DETR and Mr Prescott is now considering whether to incorporate the plans in the regional planning guidance for the

south east, which will be published early next year. The document was not sent to retailers.

Peter Sitch, public affairs controller at Safeway and a former member of the Labour party working group Planning for Prosperity, said: 'We are surprised that a paper that has such a profound implication

has not been circulated more widely and was not launched through the usual consultation channels'.

Other recommendations in the report include the restraint of residential parking in locations with good access to facilities and to public transport.

A DETR spokesman stressed that the report was not government policy. 'This is an independent research report, which we will consider alongside other submissions'.

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