Planner's Bookshelf

Key themes in the literature published during 2012:
  1. The Portas Review has been the subject of critique with many concerned that it is superficial in its analysis of problems and that the responses to it do not go far enough to transform high streets.
  2. Business Improvement Districts could in some circumstances result in the privatisation of public space with unintended consequences. Recession may encourage more privatisation of services in Business Improvement Districts, despite their requirement to be additional not replacement in this regard.
  3. Planning has been accused in some literature with prejudicing productivity growth in retailing and leading to a national decline in productivity. Others see planning as essential to local service provision.
  4. Community shops appear to be on the increase and deserve more attention given their central role in many communities.
  5. Discount retailing is changing in part due to recession and in part due to market changes. As discounters become less distinct from other retail formats they need to be regarded as operating in the same market as other retailers.
  6. Suburban town centres have a critical role in local communities but they often been bypassed in policy making.
  7. Small format supermarkets impact positively on town centre footfall but negatively on independent retailers.
  8. Retailers are increasingly contesting the use of the sequential test by their competitors.

Recommended and Interesting Reading from 2012

Official Publications

Business in the Community
Retail Development Investment Framework.
London: Business in the Community, 2012, 18p.

Department of Communities and Local Government
Parades to be proud of: strategies to support local shops.
London: DCLG, 2012, 35p.

Department of Communities and Local Government
Re-imagining urban spaces to revitalise our high streets.
London:CLG, 2012, 31p.

Northern Ireland Assembly
Business Improvement Districts Bill (Bill 9/11-15): Explanatory and financial memorandum.
Belfast: Northern Ireland Assembly, 2012, 9p.

Academic Publications

De Magalhaes, C.
Business Improvement Districts and the recession: implications for public realm governance and management in England,
Progress in Planning, 77, 2012, 143-177.

Findlay, A. and Sparks, L.
Far from the ‘magic of the mall’; retail (change) in ‘other places’,
Scottish Geographical Journal, 128(1), 2012, 24-41.

Koch, R. and Latham, A.
Rethinking urban public space: accounts from a junction in West London,
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 37(4), 2012, 515-529.

Thompson, C., Clarke, G. and Stillwell, J.
Modelling the future opportunities for deep discount food retailing in the UK,
International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, 22(2), 2012, 143-170.

Wrigley, N., Cudworth, J.and Li, J.
The impact of small format in-centre foodstores in small towns.
Southampton: University of Southampton, 2012. Available online at:

An earlier version of the Planner’s Bookshelf is also available.