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Welshpool calls for Charity Shop regulation

Created on 18/01/2011 @ 11:14
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Welshpool is to lobby the Welsh Assembly Government and Parliament after a recent public consultation showed that the town felt there were too many charity shops.
Welshpool town centre has five charity shops that make a booming trade and one, the British Heart Foundation (right), was recently awarded for taking over £100,000 in a year.
But its Town Council has been told by townsfolk that there are too many, prompting them to take action by lobbying for a new Act of Parliament. A mywelshpool poll last November also revealed that 65 per cent of residents felt there were too many.
“Charity shops gain 80% rate relief which other shops do not enjoy enabling them to pay a higher rent and it inflates the prices forcing normal shops out of the High Street,” said Town Clerk, Robert Robinson. “When it comes to rent review, because both charity shops and normal shops are user class A1, the rents are considered equal.
“The only way to address this issue is to have registered charities as a separate use class. In this way consent can still be granted for charity shops, approved by the local authority, but it not only controls number of these shops but also stops rent comparison between those shops with charity shop status and normal shop status.”
The Town Council has sent a proposal to both the Assembly and Parliament that registered charities should come under a new use class which means they would need planning consent to occupy a shop unit.
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