Shop planning applications drop to lowest point in eight years, figures reveal

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Planning applications for new shops have fallen to an eight-year low amid continued growth of e-commerce, a new study shows.

There were 6,525 applications in England in the year to March, almost half the number in 2008/09 and down by 11% on 2014/15, said Lendy, which provides property finance and development loans.

Greater Manchester saw the biggest fall in retail planning applications last year, according to the research.

Liam Brooke of Lendy said: "The continued softness in the retail property market shows no sign of abating. Retailers are shunning and shutting bricks and mortar shops.

"The Government needs to find a way to encourage retailers to give the high streets a face lift.

"Big brands are continuing to shift their focus towards their online services."