|Link to 'Planning'|
"Mary Portas’ report is a heady mix of nostalgia and commercialism. Bemoaning the demise of self-contained neighbourhood centres ... one moment, and describing London’s two Westfield malls as 'successful, immersive 21st century urban entertainment centres' the next, she never quite seems to know which she prefers. And of course, in that she is no different from the rest of us.
We have been steadily deserting town centres since the 1970’s, when the first out-of-town shopping mall in the UK was built at Brent Cross in north London. And over the last thirty-five years it has only been waves of estate agents, building society branches, restaurants, bars, and most recently betting shops, ... which have prevented even higher levels of vacancies in our High Streets."