Meon Valley MP’s bid to protect towns from supermarket giants in future

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THE MP for Meon Valley is supporting a parliamentary report to ban supermarkets from ‘exceptional town centres’.

George Hollingbery is supporting the report following his opposition to plans for Sainsbury’s to build a new store in Bishop’s Waltham, which has been approved.

He argued that towns like Bishop’s Waltham which have lots of independent shops should be protected.

Mr Hollingbery, who is a member of the Communities and Local Government Select Committee, pushed for the insertion of the idea in the committee’s report on the National Planning Policy Framework.

He said: ‘I’ve long argued that some town centres are worth preserving for reasons that go beyond normal planning matters .

‘Because they are the hubs of the community, a draw for tourists or a safety net for vulnerable people like the elderly.

‘In the case of Bishop’s Waltham, I still believe that it ticked many of these boxes of outstanding qualities, but it was frustrating at the time that existing planning law could not take into account its exceptional nature and the application was passed.

‘Excluding a supermarket from the local area would disproportionately affect those on marginal incomes. This is so far only a recommendation, but I believe it does offer protection for such town centres.’