Retail representatives are more upbeat about the future of the high street following the three-week political party conference season.

Shane Brennan, Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) public affairs director, said the importance of the high street has “really got through” to MPs and political activists, especially among the Conservatives.

“Everyone was talking about clone towns and the rise of Tesco Express and Sainsbury’s Local,” he said.

He said the changing political mood offered hope for crucial amendments to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) to restrict out-of-town developments.

“It has been a genuinely positive three weeks of party conferences. People are agreeing on their concerns for the high street.”

The ACS has also welcomed an amendment to the Localism Bill. The amendment says that local plans from businesses must be “established for the express purpose of promoting or improving the social, economic and environmental well-being of an area”.