Haringey Liberal Democrats call on Government not to take away Council powers on new superstores

Local Liberal Democrat councillors are calling on the Government not to reduce Haringey Councils’ decision powers over huge new superstore developments.

Small businesses in Haringey have come under increasing pressure from big superstores, but the government is now considering removing a crucial tool of Haringey Council in defending Haringey’s unique shopping areas such as Green Lanes or Crouch End.

The Government’s review of planning suggested that they scrap the ‘needs test’, which allows local planning authorities to decide supermarket planning applications based on need, but local Liberal Democrats have hit back saying that scrapping it would stop Haringey Council objecting to supermarkets taking business away from local shops.

Cllr Jonathan Bloch, Lib Dem planning spokesperson, comments:

“Every local shop I visit is concerned about the effect that more gigantic supermarkets setting up will have on their business and the high street generally.

“If Haringey Council cannot say ‘No’ to supermarkets when they are not needed, how will they ever be able to stop them undermining our treasured independent shopping areas across Haringey? From Highgate to Tottenham the individuality of shopping that gives each area its character could be under threat. ”

Lynne Featherstone, MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, adds:

“Whilst Haringey residents are campaigning to protect our high street and local community, the Labour Government is seeking to undermine our efforts and make it easier for big businesses to drive local shops, like the Post Office, newsagents and independent shops, out of business.

“I’m calling on the Government not to scrap the ‘supermarket needs test’ and to give power back to our local community so we can save our independent shops from the spread of supermarkets and help it grow into the hub of our sustainable, vibrant community.”