The British Retail Consortium has welcomed opportunities for business to become involved in local decision making but warned that ‘localism’ should not be allowed to harm national companies.

In its its submission to the Government’s consultation on local enterprise partnerships (LEPs), published today, the BRC sought reassurances that LEPs “will have enough central guidance to adopt a common approach to avoid national retailers facing the uncertainty and extra costs of coping with a mass of different regulatory regimes”.

LEPs will replace regional development agencies and will have powers over infrastructure, planning and transport among other areas.

BRC director general Stephen Robertson said: “Coping with myriad different regulatory regimes across the country would be a tough new burden for multiple retailers.

“Given the substantial powers that LEPs could be given, it’s crucial they have the right expertise and sufficient funding to meet any new responsibilities.”

The organisation believes that LEP boards should be chaired by prominent business leaders, as the Government proposes at present.