Experience from around the country has shown that local independent traders always suffer as a result of large new developments like the one proposed by Centros. The profits of local traders tend to stay within the local economy but the Castle View shopping centre will be dominated by chain stores and other outlets whose only contribution to the local economy is minimum wage jobs.
Since the castle is no longer a prison, focussing local development on exploiting the castle as a major tourist attraction would do much to regenerate the retail sector in the city centre, and a major competing retail development would damage that recovery.
- Ghost Town Britain - Throughout Britain local economies are being killed by various economic and political forces, with enormous human, social and environmental consequences. Can they be brought back to life?
- Ghost Town Britain II: Death on the High Street - This update of nef's previous Ghost Town Britain report reveals that the situation for farmers, small business owners, shopkeepers and consumers is getting worse due to expansion of supermarkets and other big retail chains.
- Clone Town Britain - This excellent 44 page survey from the NEF covers many towns throughout the UK which have been transformed into clone towns by developments which disregarded the opinions of local communities and traders. Pages 17/18 report on Centros and their cattle market development in Bury St Edmunds and shows an artists impression of part of it which looks remarkably similar (some have said identical) to a view of the shopping precinct which Centros previously presented to the public in Lancaster as part of their public 'consultation'.
- White Young Green Retail Study Report - Feb 2006 - This Lancaster retail survey is a very detailed 100 odd page report by an independent company called White Young Green Planning commisioned by Lancaster City Council on present and future retail needs for Lancaster, Morecambe, Carnforth and outlying areas. In support of the Centros proposals, chief planning officer Andrew Dobson has claimed that this costly survey is 'only a background document to inform the Local Development Framework'.
- Development Threatens Local Business - Virtual Lancaster article from 2006 about the likely effect of the development on existing retail in the area.
- Forgotten traders sign petition - BBC Report - Independent traders in Maidstone suffered a 50% loss in trade following completion of the Centros retail led Fremlin Walk development in March 2005. Their plight is outlined in this report from the BBC. Lancasters independent traders have been slow to realise just how their businesses will suffer if the Centros Miller development goes ahead.