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