Friday, 11 January 2013



Changes in planning law for our high streets
Mr. Eric Pickles the UK’s Communities Secretary recently introduced a new set of guidelines for Permitted Development Rights in relation to the conversion of the areas above many high street shops that are currently used as storage space, into residential dwellings.

The conversion of previous shop storage space to residential dwellings is now easier and cheaper as this can be carried out under Permitted Development Rights avoiding a Full Planning application submission.

The changes to the planning system implemented by Mr. Pickles on 1st October 2012 will make it easier to carry out the conversion of these spaces into dwellings creating much needed residential accommodation as well as increasing the longevity of many of our high street retail outlets.

It is clear to see the benefits the changes to the planning system could have on our town centres as most retailers will relish a rise in footfall. Whilst the additional footfall is clearly beneficial to retailers, with this increase there is potential for an increase in noise levels as well as the potential of complaints from new residents to these dwellings about the noise levels from the existing licensed areas.

Currently, when applying for Planning or a Premises Licence within a town centre, the issues of noise levels and the protection of nearby residence is of paramount importance to the Local Authorities. The new changes to the planning system implemented by Mr. Pickles, will not only have to protect new residents entering town centres but also the existing retailers especially the licensed retailers for this to work successfully.

The new changes to the planning system have been implemented to help in the supply of residential properties, increase the footfall within the town centres, only time will tell if it is a success regarding the potential clashes regarding noise and disturbance.

Darren Johnson-Rose BA(Hons) BSc(Hons)
Director (Senior Surveyor)

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