'Radical overhaul of planning rules needed to save high streets'

A call by the boss of one of Britain's supermarket chains for a 'radical overhaul of planning rules' to save the country's high streets features in today's newspaper round-up.

The Daily Telegraph reports that the chief executive of Sainsbury's has called for a "radical overhaul of planning rules as part of the scramble to revive Britain's crisis-hit high street". Mike Coupe "railed against restrictions that make it hard to switch the use of empty stores, and said the next government must prioritise reform", according to the newspaper. Speaking as Sainsbury's unveiled a drop in sales, Mr Coupe said: "There are very tight restrictions on the type of retail you can do on high streets. If they liberalise it, the market would very quickly respond to that and would lead to more regeneration."

The Times includes a long essay examining whether fracking is now dead in the UK following the government's recent announcement of a moratorium.

Both The Times and the Guardian report on a "Manifesto for the North" that has been launched by city leaders in the north of England. According to The Times, the region’s leaders have urged for control over education and transport to be devolved to the north of England to break the grip of a "London-centric parliament". It says: "In a "manifesto for the north", the leaders of cities from Manchester to Newcastle urge Whitehall to cede powers over trains and buses to create Transport for London-style organisations for northern cities." Writing in the Guardian, Manchester's elected mayor Andy Burnham says the Manifesto for the North "seeks to free us from the shackles of short-sighted Westminster policies on transport and housing, and give us the power to solve these things for ourselves".

According to the Guardian, Britain's railways "can no longer cope" with the effects of climate change, a senior rail executive has warned. "Extreme weather including storms, heatwaves and flooding have damaged infrastructure and halted thousands of services across the UK this year", says the newspaper. This has prompted Alex Hynes, managing director of Scotland's Railway, to say that "much more investment would be needed to deal with soaring temperatures".

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