Boles breathes life into town centre fringes

Sam Cordon

August 8, 2013

The Portas Review recommended more flexibility for change of use applications which would make it easier for people to convert properties, bringing residents closer to town centres which would increase footfall for businesses.

Boles said: “Thousands of empty and underused buildings, often on the edge of town centres, are going to waste because people do not want the hassle and uncertainty of submitting a planning application.

“Removing this barrier will bring more people closer to their town centres providing a much needed boost to local shops and ensuring we make the most of buildings that are already there for new homes, nurseries and schools this country needs.”

He said that extending these permitted development rights on brownfield land will benefit all communities whether in towns or the countryside.

The new rules would allow conversions from retail to residential, retail to banks and building societies, agricultural to residential and new schools and nurseries and agricultural to new schools and nurseries.

Extending permitted development rights will mean a quicker and more responsive planning system and using empty buildings and previously developed land will help boost economic growth while ensuring that green spaces and the countryside are protected.

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