Government trials relaxation in planning rules
Following Mary Portas’s review on the future of UK high streets, the government has announced it will be trialling a series of changes in planning regulations.
They have said that they want to promote the use of brownfield land to assist regeneration, and get empty and underused buildings back into productive use.
The changes will also include easing the rules relating to change of use.
The introduction of permitted development rights will enable change of use from commercial to residential purposes.
The plans are designed to encourage developers to bring underused offices back into effective use as houses for local residents.
A range of buildings will be allowed to convert temporarily to a set of alternative uses including shops, financial and professional services, restaurants and cafes and offices for up to 2 years.
All changes will be limited to three years with a review of the policy taking place at that time.
Local planning authorities will be able to seek exemption on economic grounds from the policy.