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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 March 2008, 21:35 GMT
MP fights high street 'takeover'
Cafe scene
Mr Linton says chains put pressure on individual shops
An MP is calling for a change in the law to protect London's high streets from the spread of chain stores.

Martin Linton, MP for Battersea, wants a Commons debate on the issue, based on fears for a street in his constituency.

He claims the individuality of Northcote Road is being eroded as more chain shops move into the area.

Mr Linton wants councils to have the right to deny planning permission if it involves a chain replacing an independently owned shop.

Shop sizes

He said: "The very popularity of this street means a lot of the chains wants to come in and set up shop and in doing so they push up the rents and they increase pressure on the very shops that make this street popular in the first place."

The Northcote Road Action Group is campaigning for the creation of a retail conservation area.

It wants potential retailers to be assessed on whether they will add to the vitality and variety of the road.

It also wants the size of businesses to be controlled by retaining single shop frontages and a cap on shop sizes capped.

The public's views on changing highstreets

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