Speaking at the Association of Town Centre Management conference in London yesterday, Labour's shadow environment secretary Frank Dobson pledged to put Labour party policy in line with the government's.
Environment secretary John Gummer has come out against out-of-town centres, and has consistently spoken in support of town centres as a preferable alternative.
Speaking at yesterday's conference, Mr Dobson said: 'Town centres should be the preferred locations, although there may be particular circumstances where some out-of-town developments will still go ahead.
Meanwhile, The Daily Telegraph (p19), reports that supermarket giants Tesco and Sainsbury have clashed over a new Tesco store on the outskirts of Chard, Somerset.
The Tesco store, which has been given planning permission, is the subject of a high court battle. Sainsbury, which has acquired its own town centre site in Chard for a new store, is supporting the high court action against the Tesco store on the grounds that the local council's planning decision was flawed, as it contradicted Mr Gummer's guidelines - that an out-of-town store should only be given permission if no town centre site is available.
On this occasion however, Mr Gummer contradicted his own advice and approved the Tesco store.