High Street

‘Uncontrolled conversions’ plan will ruin high street, warns BPF

The organisation has launched an appeal to urge the government not to employ an ‘uncontrolled conversion’ policy from high street properties to residential

The British Property Federation (BPF) has launched an appeal to combat the government’s recently proposed “uncontrolled conversions” plan, which would see high street property spaces being converted into residential ones.

The government’s consultation proposing a new Permitted Development Right (PDR), which would enable more commercial, business and service premises on high streets to be converted into residential without planning permission, ended last week.

The organisation believes the policy would have a detrimental impact on British high streets and the wider economy, however.

Ian Fletcher, director of Real Estate Policy for BPF, said: “New residential development will play a vital role in town centre recovery post-Covid but poorly-planned PDR homes will do more harm than good.

“It’ll result in quick delivery of new homes in a piecemeal approach, without taking into consideration what the entire high street requires to successfully serve the community.”

He added: “An holistic approach to a high street’s future will ensure new homes are planned for, to ensure the right balance is achieved between residential and the other offers – whether that be shops, gyms, restaurants, nurseries, soft play for kids and sports halls – so that every business and new home support one another, to create coherent and thriving neighbourhoods.

“This new PDR will take control away from local authorities at a time when our high street’s future depends more than ever on strong local leadership and vision.”

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