A recent report by Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee member Kate Barker
into how the UK's cumbersome planning process can be made more efficient for businesses has raised concerns
about the role comunities will have in future planning applications. The wide-ranging interim report says that the planning process is too complex and that delays can "hold back desirable economic investment". Although it goes on to say that reforms should take into account environmental and social concerns, many fear that the finished report will further alienate communities. Tesco states that it always engages with communities, welcomes "transparency and openness" and likes to hear people's views. In the spring Sir Terry Leahy, Tesco's chief executive, announced that Tesco would hold meetings with residents wherever it opens new stores. However, most Sheringham and Torrington
residents believe that their voices have not been heard. This is why the final findings of the Barker Review, expected to be announced by the chancellor in November, will be so important.