City Hall looks for ways to stop high street shops going under
THE crisis of hundreds of small corner shops left empty in local high streets is being investigated by the London Assembly. The rate of shops closing down is getting faster and likely to get worse in the New Year
THE crisis of hundreds of small corner shops left empty in local high streets is being investigated by the London Assembly.
The rate of shops closing down is getting faster and likely to get worse in the New Year as the economic downturn bites, the Assembly's planning committee fears.
Assembly members are calling for current planning legislation to be used 'more effectively' to stem the loss of small retailers.
They have begun a review of measures to protect neighbourhood shops and see where planning policies can support them.
"Every closed shutter is several lost jobs," said the committee's chair Jenny Jones. "Empty high streets detract from the vibrancy and character of an area.
"Some people are completely reliant on being a short walk from shops for their everyday needs.
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"The planning system is critical to keep high streets thriving and we want to make sure it's being used effectively."
Shops face the worst of the recession still to come in 2010 with 5,000 retailers in Britain predicted to go under, according to business analysts BDO Stoy Hayward.
The London Assembly is asking shoppers and small business owners and workers to email City Hall on how their neighbourhood has been struggling and what is needed to keep high streets thriving. The findings will be published in the New Year.