Landlord Hammerson, owner of malls including the Bull Ring, has welcomed The Portas Review into high streets.

A Hammerson spokesman said: “We welcome the Portas report, which appears focused on finding constructive solutions to encourage successful retail in town centres.

“Hammerson is a major supporter of established and emerging retail formats, and we want to see a thriving retail landscape across the country.

“Ultimately the success of town centre retail will depend on the ability of landlords, managers and local authorities to work collaboratively to increase the convenience and attractiveness for both the consumer and retailer.”

There were a range of recommendations in the review, published yesterday, that affect landlords directly.

They include:

  • Legislate to allow landlords to become high street investors by contributing to their Business Improvement District
  • Address the restrictive aspects of the ‘Use Class’ system to make it easier to change the uses of key properties on the high street
  • Make explicit a presumption in favour of town centre development in the wording of the National Planning Policy Framework
  • 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
  • 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