Commission backs down
The Competition Commission has backed down over the worst of its supermarket planning recommendations.
The Commission had previously recommended removing key planning rules in order to make more land available for supermarkets on the edge of town centres and out of town.
This unexpected decision follows months of lobbying by Friends of the Earth and our supporters.
The Commission has been investigating problems in the grocery industry since May 2006. This latest decision is part of its provisional remedies paper.
The Commission's remedies also include further measures that we have been campaigning for. It has recommended a much tighter Code of Practice to stop unfair costs and risks being passed on to farmers.
Ithas also recommended that an ombudsman be appointed to oversee the code. It is now essential that the proposed ombudsman is given sufficient powers to ensure that supermarkets stick to the new code.
Supermarkets will be working hard to weaken the proposals - but we will continue our campaign to ensure strict rules are imposed following the Commission's final report in May.
In addition the Government will be consulting on new planning guidance very soon.
The Commission's decision means we can focus our efforts on getting a set of strong and positive planning policies in place when the consultation starts.