National parking restrictions have until now dictated the number of parking spaces a council is permitted to grant, but the draft national planning policy framework (NPPF) will abolish these rules.
Communities secretary Eric Pickles said: "Families and local firms face a parking nightmare under existing rules. Stressed-out drivers have to run the gauntlet of parking fines, soaring parking charges and a lack of parking spaces. These parking restrictions have hit small shops the hardest, creating 'ghost town' high streets which can't compete with out-of-town supermarkets."
The scrapping of parking restrictions follows a decision earlier this year to ditch guidance encouraging higher charges for parking.
The recently published NPPF commits to a town centre first planning policy (Convenience Store, August 5), but retailers have called on the government to tighten up the document to prevent the potential for loopholes to be exploited.