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" 'Queen of shops' Mary Portas helps transform Harrow into king of high streets"

Link to Evening Standard

"Keith Ferry, portfolio holder for regeneration and planning on Harrow council, said:
"We decided to make economic growth a top priority. We had already put in place various policies but the Portas Review was very useful as it had a lot of ideas like having street markets and music festivals.

These figures show you can make a difference. We started with one of the worst-off areas, in North Harrow, and held markets there. What was interesting was the number of people who said they didn’t realise what a diversity of shops was in North Harrow because they tended to just get in their cars and go to a big supermarket or shopping centre: they didn’t know what they had outside their back doors."

Anthony Hilton, Evening Standard:
"Change-of-use barrier on the High St"

"The Government’s reticence stems from its desire to arrest
the decline of the High Street. But it is counterproductive
to insist that shops can only ever be shops.
When a High Street gets a certain proportion of boarded-up
premises, it ceases to be an attractive place to visit.

"The dead businesses then begin to strangle the living,
and it gets even worse. This blinkered Government policy
guarantees further decay. The trick should be to make
the High Street attractive, while accepting that there are
fewer shops around, and there is no better way to do that
than by encouraging people to live there."

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