By politics.co.uk staff
Nick Clegg has backed "hard-pressed independent stores" over ever-expanding supermarkets as his party announces its plans to rescue Britain's high streets.
The Liberal Democrats propose introducing a local competition test for all planning applications to help give local authorities the powers to strike a 'fairer balance' in the grocery sector.
The party's policy document, 'Vibrant Local High Streets', also backs developing a PostBank to reverse the decline of the post office network and establishing a system of local enterprise funds.
"Thriving high streets are at the heart of local communities. But it has been our high streets that have borne the brunt of this recession, with boarded up shops scarring towns and villages across Britain," Mr Clegg said.
"The government has tilted the planning system in favour of the haphazard expansion of ubiquitous supermarkets at the expense of hard-pressed independent stores... the Liberal Democrats understand that it will be small businesses that are key to building a healthy and balanced economy."