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MPs launch inquiry into future of high streets

MPs are to investigate how to revive the British high street as part of a cross-party parliamentary inquiry.

The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee will examine the future role of the high street in contributing to local economies, what the high street will look like in 2030 and if councils have the correct planning and licensing tools to help areas flourish.

The committee is currently inviting submissions exploring the economic, social and technological changes facing high streets and town centres. The deadline for submissions in 22 June.

Clive Betts MP, chair of the committee said: “Our high streets and town centres have an important social, civic and cultural place in our society. But, many of our high streets are now struggling, facing a range of challenges including the threat posed by online retailers. Indeed, changing trends and behaviours in recent decades – driven by a range of economic, demographic, social and technological factors – have affected the prosperity and vibrancy of our high streets.”

Readers' comments (1)

  • The greatest barrier to a reinvigorated high street is surely institutional landlords of commercial property, who prohibit the functioning of a real rental market — by refusing to adjust rents to market value, in view of the deleterious effect of doing so on balance sheet values. Lobbying for stronger disincentives against this practice seems a more effective way of driving change than relentless lobbying for less onerous business rates, which would be permitted to adjust naturally with rent revaluations.

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