Retail activity is a key feature of all historic towns and cities and has a critical influence on the environment and the quality of life these places offer - for many people living in or visiting our towns and cities shopping is both a leisure activity and a necessity. Retailing is also a very dynamic area of activity subject to continually evolving customer demands, financial pressures and policy frameworks. Focus on Retail provides both theoretical and practical background and advice to promote good practice in retail planning and development that will enhance historic places. It is aimed principally at the local authority members of the Forum, both members and officers. It aims to be relevant to the needs of land use and transport planners, conservation officers and town centre managers. It can assist in setting the evidence base for development plan policies and support negotiations with developers. It will help to give local authorities the confidence to make difficult decisions in the face of internal and external pressures. The Forum hopes that the guidance will be relevant also to the needs of developers, retailers architects and urban designers.
In a departure from other Forum Focus on... documents, Focus on Retail comprises articles written by specialists and experts in the field - the views expressed are their own. Taken together the contributions aim to set out a vision for retailing in historic towns and represent an integrated apporach to reconciling the sometimes competing demands that manifest themselves in our town centres and on our high streets. The Forum hopes that this Focus will help to ensure that retailing develops in an increasingly sustainable way for the benefit of all.
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