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Major changes have been called for to stop small shops disappearing from high streets in a report commissioned by K...
Major changes have been called for to stop small shops disappearing from high streets in a report commissioned by Kensington & Chelsea RBC.

The council acted due to increasing concern over the number of independent businesses being replaced by faceless chain stores or coffee shops.

Kensington & Chelsea wants councils to have greater power to make sure there is a balance between multiples and independent shops.

Leader Cllr Merrick Cockell (Con) said: 'Too often we are seeing the smaller trader replaced by big chain stores offering what you can get in any high street in any part of London or further afield.

'When this happens the result is a loss of balance and healthy mix of shops. If the laws and regulations don't change then our high streets surely will and not for the better.'

The Independent Retail Commission, which heard from retail and planning experts including Sir Terence Conran, designer, and Andrew Ashenden, until recently chief executive of Howard De Walden shopping estate in Marylebone, is said to be the first report that sets out what needs to be done to preserve the future of small shops.

It calls for the government to make major changes to planning, parking and other regulations in attempt to save the character of specialist shopping areas and high streets. The report gives 54 recommendations

Owners of small shops and large supermarkets, MPs from the All-Parliamentary Small Shops Group, the Greater London Assembly's chief economist and experts from the British Retail Consortium also gave evidence to the commission. It was chaired by Kensington & Chelsea LBC mayor Tim Ahern (Con).

Summary of the Commission on Retail Conservation report A Balance of Trade - Everyone can help

Policy & politics

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