Head of Planning at Colliers International, Anthony Aitken was interviewed on the James Max show on Talk Radio this morning discussing the effect that the Town and Country Planning’s use classes amendments will have on the high street as the come into effect today (Tuesday 1 September).
Aitken commented: “The new regulations, which were introduced in the UK Government’s White Paper for planning reform on 20 July, are the largest overhaul of the use classes system for a generation. The guidelines make significant changes to the 1987 Use Classes Order with the Government’s aim to reduce planning ‘red tape’ and give businesses greater flexibility. The radical overhaul of the system will help to support the revival of the high street revival and will enable greater flexibility to change uses of buildings within town centres, without the need for express planning permission.
“This is clearly a stimulus to economic recovery post COVID-19 and local authorities are powerless to revoke or stop these changes from being made. The key future consideration is that there needs to be a general limited planning control boost otherwise the high street with be decimated even further.
“We would welcome the reduction of costs, time and effort to the change of use being enforced for the benefit of all businesses concerned. However, with no planning controls and solely market forces determining high streets, will this new legislation provide high streets with greater footfall, respect an area’s local character, increase the variety of tenants, add to economic prosperity and provide welcoming and prosperous places? This all remains to be seen.”
Click on 05:30-06:00 and listen from 19.36 minutes in.