the government has just announced its response
judge for yourself
in a bland doublespeak response, the government washes its hands of the affair while backing camden council's power to "enhance existing markets" and "create new ones"
let's get ready to welcome the bland corporate high street chains to camden!!
"The vast majority of decisions on planning applications are made by the local planning authority, in this case the London Borough of Camden. However, the Secretary of State has the power to call in planning applications under section 77 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. She will, in general, only take this step if planning issues of more than local importance are involved and if those issues need to be decided by the Secretary of State rather than at a local level. Each case is, however, considered on its own facts. However, the Secretary of State can only intervene in a case before the Council has issued its decision but, in this case, she was not asked to intervene and Camden Council granted planning permission on 11 October 2006. Therefore, it is no longer open to the Secretary of State to use her call in powers.
In terms of government policy on retail, national planning policy in Planning Policy Statement 6: Planning for Town Centres (PPS6) seeks to support a competitive retail sector and meet the needs of the community - but it is not the role of planning to restrict competition or preserve existing commercial interests. PPS6 (paragraph 2.27) also asks local authorities to seek to retain and enhance existing markets and, where appropriate, re-introduce or create new ones, as street and covered markets can make a valuable contribution to local choice and diversity in shopping as well as the vitality of town centres. Local authorities should ensure that their markets remain attractive and competitive by investing in their improvement."