Supermarkets choke life out of high streets’ City Hall fears

THE spread of supermarkets is causing high streets to decline, London Assembly members have been told. Tougher regulations to stop supermarkets killing off independent retailers is being called for

By Mike Brooke

THE spread of supermarkets is causing high streets and small shops to decline, London Assembly members have been told.

Now City Hall planners are looking at ways to prop up the corner shop in the face of stiff rivalry from the big food chains.

Planners need tougher regulations to restrict large supermarkets expanding which threaten local businesses, Tory member Andrew Boff told the Assembly's planning committee.

"Supermarkets choke the life out small shops and local high streets," he said.

"Town halls encourage a deeper recession in high streets when they approve new supermarkets, threatening independent retailers."

He wants local authorities and London Mayor Boris Johnson to check the "growing dominance" of supermarkets.

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Boff's scathing attack comes in the wake of three new supermarkets being opened within a fortnight in London's East End.

Tesco officially opened its latest branch at Burdett Road in Limehouse yesterday (Thurs) and is planning its next one this month just two miles away at Hackney Road in Bethnal Green, just round the corner from the new Sainsbury's in Cambridge Heath Road which opened last week.

A report by the Federation of Small Businesses being studied by City Hall says supermarkets take �7 out of every �10 spent on the high street, ploughing back just five per cent of their profits into the community compared to 50 per cent from independent retailers.

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