Superstore Responsibility Must Lie with Councils; SOAPBOX: Honorary Secretary of the Aberdare District Chamber of Trade and Commerce Judith Toms Believes Council Policy towards Applications for Large Out-of-Town Retail Developments Needs Careful Analysis

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THE article revealing that Cardiff County Council has directed Cardiff Research Centre to distribute 16,000 questionnaires to shoppers at district shopping complexes in an attempt to gauge the impact of large retail superstores makes interesting reading.

Perhaps it would be cynical to suggest that the council is attempting to shelve their personal responsibility to assess these matters by offloading the matter onto the shopping public, but many people may not be aware that policy planning guidance in Wales is quite clear in stating that there should be an assessment of previous planning effects of superstore development whenever there is a planning application for further development of this nature. It is unlikely that the average punter will be aware of the relocation of consumer spend as a direct result of each application, but it is the duty of the planning authority to make itself aware of this data.

Also, the National Assembly recently looked at alterations to planning policy guidance in Wales, and our chamber was consulted. …