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Change of use and permitted development to support the high street

In an attempt to support the high street and at the same time increase the rate of house building, the Government is asking for views on how best to ensure existing buildings are used to support and revitalise the local economy.

Written by Jonathan Lee

‘Planning Reform: Supporting the high street and increasing the delivery of new homes’, published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, consults on possible new permitted development (PD) rights which could make it easier to change the use of buildings in our town centres.

The focus is on how to help town centres adapt to the changes they face by increasing the flexibility of use of the buildings that already exist.

In addition to proposing upward extensions on existing houses, the Government proposes these should be permitted on premises that can already change use to housing under a permitted development right, such as shops, financial and professional services, restaurants and cafes, as well as betting shops, payday loan shops and launderettes, offices, and buildings in mixed use.

That’s a very broad range of property types and uses and clearly demonstrates the direction of travel when it comes to Government policy.

There will no doubt be restrictions, such as those that already exist in Conservation Areas and in the AONB.

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