Three quarters of developers would prefer to develop a town centre scheme rather than an out-of-town equivalent, according to research from Hartnell Taylor Cook.

Developers believe that local authorities favour town centres over out-of-town. However, in the past three years, nearly four out of 10 (38 per cent) have been involved in a town centre development that was hampered by a lack of infrastructure or transport support from the local authority.

“Town centres are the future of retail, but are also a possible stumbling block,” said Hartnell Taylor Cook retail agency partner Andrew Bradley. “If local authorities are serious about clamping down on out-of-town competition, they must be prepared to support town centre projects.”

The survey also found that nearly half (46 per cent) of landlords felt there was too much town centre retail space coming onto the market over the next five to eight years, even though 84 per cent of respondents were themselves planning to open a scheme in the same time frame.