The government has been formally asked to adopt the latest recommendation by the Competition Commission (CC) for a competition test in retail planning applications, which would prevent supermarkets opening new stores in areas where they already hold a 60% market share.

The test was put forward as a recommendation in the Grocery Market Inquiry last year, but an appeal by Tesco to the Competition Appeal Tribunal forced the CC to reconsider its proposal.

The Commission has now revised the test to allow one extension per five years of up to 1,000sq ft in sales area to grocery stores even if they are already in a position of dominance.

Convenience retailers' representatives called for the government to adopt the test. "Now the CC has made its recommendation the government has to deliver," said ACS chief executive James Lowman. "We believe that the test can play a role in ensuring competition in the grocery market, however it's not a panacea for the failings of a market dominated by a handful of major supermarkets."

The government has 90 days to respond to the CC.

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