Retailers have welcomed the government’s revised National Planning Policy Framework which presumes in favour of town centres in England.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) welcomed the decision to retain a priority for town centres principle for office developments.

The principle favours a mix of leisure, retail and offices in town centres to drive footfall. The BRC also said a presumption in favour of sustainable development will help.

Planning minister Greg Clark unveiled much anticipated plans for the framework today.

BRC business director Tom Ironside said: “For too long the planning system has been a brake on growth - complicated, costly and slow. These practical measures are a marked improvement and should help bring a boost to local economies.

“Retail is a competitive, innovative sector which looks to the Government to create the right conditions for growth. Making the system more transparent and efficient will enable development and should play a key role in efforts to revitalise England’s troubled high streets.” 

The British Property Federation (BPF) welcomed the changes including the inclusion of a requirement for developers to build on brownfield sites ahead of greenfield sites.

BPF chief executive Liz Peace said: “We believe the NPPF is now a more moderate and sensible document.

“The changes to the framework do not, however, alter its overall objective of supporting well-planned sustainable growth within a streamlined, plan-led system.”