Sainsbury's 'quits 15 town centres for out-of-town stores'

Reports that supermarket chain Sainsbury's has written off plans for 15 mostly town centre stores because of changes to planning regulations which mean it is 'easier to open out of town' feature in today's newspaper round-up.

The Guardian reports
that Sainsbury’s finance director, John Rogers, said the retailer had "written off £92 million relating to property because it had decided not to go ahead with plans to open supermarkets on 15 sites, mostly redevelopments of land close to town centres, because changes to planning regulations meant it was easier to open out of town". However, the newspaper adds, Sainsbury's continues to open about 10 new large stores a year and at least two convenience stores a week.

The Financial Times (subscription) runs an article by former transport secretary and shadow infrastructure minister Lord Adonis in which he hails the writings of eminent town planner Sir Peter Hall. Adonis writes: "His message is that state – national and local – must resume its responsibilities. It is not enough to exhort the market and fiddle with town planning. The state must encourage once more in building communities – including new towns, extensions to existing towns, and a radically improved approach to transport investment linking infrastructure to new housing".

The Financial Times also runs an article which says that Bank of England governor Mark Carney has said that the pick-up in the housing market was "initially an important part" of the economic recovery. The newspaper says that Carney later added that, while the Bank of England was "vigilant" to the threat of a housing bubble, it was "early days" and there was a "broad range of tools" to deal with surging prices.

Housebuilder Barratt Developments has reported a continued rise in sales, accelerated by the Government's controversial Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme, the Telegraph reports. According to the newspaper, the group said the value of its order book reached £1.1 billion in the 19 weeks to 10 November, up almost 47 per cent on a year ago, "driven by a return of consumer confidence which is flowing through to the housing market".

The Times (subscription only) reports
that a Tory MP "who has opposed public subsidies for green energy has upset neighbours of his Dorset stately home by pushing through plans for Britain’s third-largest solar farm". The newspaper says Richard Drax intends to cover 70 hectares of his land near Wimborne, with 120,000 solar panels that will provide power for 7,000 homes.

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