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The squeeze on the development of out-of-town food stores looks set to increase after planning minister Beverley Hughes demanded that planners improve access to local shopping facilities to help eliminate so-called 'food deserts'.

These are the poor areas, typically in inner cities, where retailers have moved out. 'I want to see planners put more emphasis on developing local solutions to solve problems of social exclusion from services, ' Hughes said. She also called on retailers to rethink their plans for catering to local communities.

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