Planning law shakeup to boost high streets

3 June 2019

The Times reports (1st June page 47) that Communities Secretary, James Brokenshire, is overseeing changes to planning laws in a bid to help revive struggling high streets.

Draft legislation will remove the need for landlords and retailers to seek consent to change the use of empty or poorly performing shops, bank branches or estate agents to other “acceptable” services. A list of “unacceptable” uses would also be drawn up, including betting and pay-day loan shops, and amusement arcades. 

Councils would be given the power to be able to designate areas where the high street use class would apply. They would also be able to add and remove uses from the class as it operated in their area. Local Data Company figures show 50,828 premises closed last year, while new openings slowed to a five-year low of 43,278.

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