Accessible Retail (AR) represents the property interests of the retail warehouse and retail park sector of the retail industry. We have over 900 members comprising retailers, developers, owners/investors and advisers, including most of the major companies active in the sector.
Our sector plays a significant role in the UK economy and in the retail industry. It accounts for some 30% of total retail spend and comprises the largest part of investment grade retail commercial property with a value in 2013 of some £49.1billion compared with £48.5 billion for shopping malls and £25.6 billion for high street shops.
AR members are significant users of the planning system especially with regard to larger scale development proposals and we welcome the opportunity to comment on the Government’s proposed changes. Overall, we strongly support these changes and believe that, if implemented, they will make a major contribution to simplifying the planning application process and thereby to the promotion of economic growth, housing provision and the encouraging of community engagement. Our responses to the questions posed are set out below.