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EDITIONS
 Sunday, 5 January, 2003, 12:35 GMT
Town centre shops 'vulnerable'
Blueprints
Planning permission has been put on hold
A leading economic think-tank has backed a Cornish chamber of commerce's fight to save town centre shops.

The Liskeard traders group said a 10m shopping and entertainment complex outside the town centre was too large and feared the closure of high street traders.

The project includes a cinema, pub and a restaurant, DIY and garden centres, three other shops and car parking.

Julian Oram, of the independent New Economics Foundation, which reported last year on the decline of rural businesses, said Liskeard would be destroyed if the larger plan was approved.

'Grave concerns'

He said "There will come a point where there is not a critical mass of shops in the town centre to make it worthwhile for people to do their shopping there.

"Then you get to what we call the 'tipping point' where a lot of these businesses close at the same time."

The chamber said it had "grave concerns" that the complex would leave town centre shops "vulnerable and possibly redundant".

It would support a smaller complex, with a cinema and bowling alley.

Liskeard council supports the larger plans, but they have been put on hold until councillors from the planning authority, Caradon council, visit the site on Thursday 9 January.


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03 Jan 03 | England
16 Dec 02 | England
02 Dec 02 | Business
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