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Small town vitality and viability: learning from experiences in the North East of England


  • Neil A Powe


Internationally, planning bodies and committees are required to make very difficult decisions with regard to the size, format, and location of rural retail developments, which may have significant long-term implications for the character and quality of rural life. Focusing on the issue of development location in the context of small towns, I evaluate the opportunities and threats associated with a movement to larger format stores. This is explored using case examples of town-centre development, out-of-centre development, and neglect from retail development within the North East of England. The results illustrate the potential to meet multiple policy objectives by encouraging town-centre/edge-of-centre development, but also permitting out-of-centre development when local circumstances render this appropriate. Keywords: retail planning, retail development, large format stores, small towns

Suggested Citation

  • Neil A Powe, 2012. "Small town vitality and viability: learning from experiences in the North East of England," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 44(9), pages 2225-2239, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:44:y:2012:i:9:p:2225-2239

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