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The Portas Review – the 28 recommendations

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Retail guru and TV celebrity Mary Portas officially announces her independent review on the future of the UK’s high streets at 10.30 GMT today.

Her suggestions are set to shape the government’s plan for improving local communities in the years to come, and the results come seven months after Portas was initially commissioned to undertake the work.

The official Maryportas.com website displays the main points, shown below, but a much more detailed report will be unveiled by the government later this morning.

You can read a much more detailed analysis of her findings at Retail Gazette this afternoon.

In the meantime, it would be interesting to hear readers’ views on the points below. Which ones are welcome? Which ones don’t you like the sound of? And why?

  1. Put in place a “Town Team”: a visionary, strategic and strong operational management team for high streets

  2. Empower successful Business Improvement Districts to take on more responsibilities and powers and become “Super-BIDs”

  3. Legislate to allow landlords to become high street investors by contributing to their Business Improvement District

  4. Establish a new “National Market Day” where budding shopkeepers can try their hand at operating a low-cost retail business

  5. Make it easier for people to become market traders by removing unnecessary regulations so that anyone can trade on the high street unless there is a valid reason why not

  6. Government should consider whether business rates can better support small businesses and independent retailers

  7. Local authorities should use their new discretionary powers to give business rate concessions to new local businesses

  8. Make business rates work for business by reviewing the use of the RPI with a view to changing the calculation to CPI

  9. Local areas should implement free controlled parking schemes that work for their town centres and we should have a new parking league table

  10. Town Teams should focus on making high streets accessible, attractive and safe

  11. Government should include high street deregulation as part of their ongoing work on freeing up red tape

  12. Address the restrictive aspects of the ‘Use Class’ system to make it easier to change the uses of key properties on the high street

  13. Put betting shops into a separate ‘Use Class’ of their own

  14. Make explicit a presumption in favour of town centre development in the wording of the National Planning Policy Framework

  15. Introduce Secretary of State “exceptional sign off ” for all new out-of-town developments and require all large new developments to have an “affordable shops” quota

  16. Large retailers should support and mentor local businesses and independent retailers

  17. Retailers should report on their support of local high streets in their annual report

  18. Encourage a contract of care between landlords and their commercial tenants by promoting the leasing code and supporting the use of lease structures other than upward only rent reviews, especially for small businesses

  19. Explore further disincentives to prevent landlords from leaving units vacant

  20. Banks who own empty property on the high street should either administer these assets well or be required to sell them

  21. Local authorities should make more proactive use of Compulsory Purchase Order powers to encourage the redevelopment of key high street retail space

  22. Empower local authorities to step in when landlords are negligent with new “Empty Shop Management Orders”

  23. Introduce a public register of high street landlords

  24. Run a high profile campaign to get people involved in Neighbourhood Plans

  25. Promote the inclusion of the High Street in Neighbourhood Plans

  26. Developers should make a financial contribution to ensure that the local community has a strong voice in the planning system

  27. Support imaginative community use of empty properties through Community Right to Buy, Meanwhile Use and a new “Community Right to Try”

  28. Run a number of High Street Pilots to test proof of concept

Published on Tuesday 13 December by Editorial Assistant

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