This paper engages with the issue of growing tensions in Australian retail planning between centres policy and competition policy. Centres policies, including restrictions on supermarket locations, have long been viewed by many retail planners as key to the maintenance of Main Street viability and vitality. More recently, advocates of competition policy have suggested existing centres policies are anti-competitive, and have argued for a more ‘ fl exible ’ approach to centres development. Against this backdrop, the broad aim of the paper is to explore how more relaxed controls on supermarket locations might affect Main Street viability and vitality. Two town centres are examined, each associated with different degrees of regulation and characterised by different levels of competition. The effects of these differences on the viability and vitality of the respective centres are explored through analysis of the movement patterns of 148 tracked pedestrians, along with various land use and built form factors.
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