In a presentation to the Assembly’s Infrastructure Committee today, Retail NI outlined a number of policy priorities to support high street recovery, including a five-year moratorium on new out-of-town superstores as is being proposed in Scotland.
Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:
“The Department for Infrastructure has a key role to play in supporting post-pandemic high street recovery and ensuring our towns and city centres are greener, healthier and more inclusive places. Public transport needs to be shoppers’ first choice, rather than their last, alongside more options for walking, cycling and accessible and affordable car parking in our town centres”
“In order to give our town centres space to recover and regenerate, Retail NI wants Northern Ireland to follow Scotland’s lead and introduce a five-year moratorium on any more out-of-town superstores. The appalling decision this week by Antrim Newtownabbey Council to grant permission for a major superstore, despite the breach in town centre first planning and the damage it will do to local jobs, has re-enforced the need for this moratorium”
‘Retail NI also supports the call for establishing an Infrastructure Commission, devolving on-street carparking to Councils, a sixty-minute rail service between Belfast and Dublin and a recommitment to the York Street Interchange and other flagship projects”
“A Rural Town Infrastructure Investment Fund should also be introduced to support the revitalisation of our villages and towns in post-pandemic recovery efforts alongside the City and Growth deals”