INDUSTRY NEWS

Bill could help smaller business property

The Retail Development Bill has been introduced to the House of Lords, with hopes that it could help smaller businesses if it becomes law and boost demand for office and shop space.

The Forum of Private Business (FPB) is in favour of the bill, which asks authorities to provide compulsory support and advice to existing retailers and those wanting to start businesses.

"Local authorities have a vested interest in promoting the growth of local retailers and should look on this review as a chance to make their communities better places in which to do business," said the FPB’s policy representative, Matthew Goodman.

An Office for Retail Planning would be established as part of the legislation – it would represent public concerns, promote the interests of customers and encourage competition.

"We should also be wary of adding an additional layer of red tape to the planning process," warned Mr Goodman.

Mixed-use developments often include space for new offices, residential properties and small business premises in their designs.

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