Designers may have to go back to the drawing board after Government advisers on architecture warned that many new developments are not suitable for town centres.
The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (Cabe) said poorly designed developments, including supermarkets, will be a “liability” rather than an asset to town centres.
Plans for large plain buildings in big car parks were criticised by Cabe for not being suitable for town centres.
A study of 30 schemes, which included supermarket giants Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s, discovered that in many areas they were the only regeneration available.
Chief executive Richard Simmons said: “With local people given real power to decide what gets built and where, it will be even more in the interests of supermarkets to propose good schemes which benefit the area.”
The commission praised Sainsbury’s for a development in Fulham, West London, involving a store being built behind smaller shops and housing to avoid dominating the area.