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Changing the face of the High Street

Hope to revitalise deteriorating High Streets


After the publication of the Portas Review in 2011 and the Grimsy Review in 2013 it is hope that the extension of permitted development rights will make better use of unused buildings in town centres and the countryside.  The loosened planning rules hope to revitalise deteriorating high streets and breathe fresh life back into our rural communities.

The proposed changes will allow existing retail property to be converted into residential, making use of uneconomically viable retail locations, stopping unused buildings falling into disrepair and aiding with securing local housing stock. In addition retail premises will be permitted to change into banks and building societies, allowing for more consumer choice and this increase in choice will hopefully creating a more financially stable local society. However in order to maintain retail presence in high streets these changes are specific for property which falls below a 150m2 threshold, and is subject to prior approval.

The Greater flexibilities for change of Use consultation ran for a ten week period which ended in October 2013, The Department for Communities and Local Government is yet to publish the results of the survey.