Responding to the report published today by the HCLG Committee on the future of the high street, Cllr Mark Crane, DCN Lead for Stronger Economies, said:
“District councils are custodians of place; with housing, planning and growth powers we are best placed to lead on high street transformation. Districts are already working with businesses and local partners to improve our towns but in order to unlock our full potential, we must have the right funding, powers and flexibilities to deliver the drastic changes needed.
“As the report notes, planning remains crucial to creating the conditions where town centres thrive, and the recommendation to fine-tune and strengthen powers such as Compulsory Purchase Orders, is greatly welcomed, as is the recognition that permitted development rights undermine local strategic planning and any further extension should be suspended.
“However, in relation to funding, the DCN are clear that any conversation around business rates must recognise the transient landscape. Appropriate measures, such as the additional funding suggested, must be in place to ensure that business rates relief does not conflict with the ability to deliver key services for the residents and communities we serve.”
CONTACT: DCN media office, 020 7664 3333