Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Rethink on planning change welcomed

  • Comment

A tweak to the government’s plan to liberalise planning rules for the conversion of shops into homes has been welcomed by councils.

The LGA said the consultation published by the Department for Communities & Local Government on Tuesday showed officials and ministers had listened to local authority concerns.

Under the revised plans, conversions of shops into houses would need “prior approval” from a council. When deciding whether to grant this prior approval, the local authority could take into account “design, the potential impact of the loss of the retail unit on the economic health of the town centre, the need to maintain an adequate provision of essential local services such as post offices, and the potential impact of the change of use on the character of the local area”.

However, if a council failed to respond to a developer’s application within a certain time period, planning permission would automatically be granted.

The department’s consultation said: “This will allow the local authority to have regard to their local plan policies for the area.”

Mike Jones (Con), chairman of the LGA’s environment and housing board, said: “The government’s proposal for a system of prior approvals shows that it has at least listened to councils’ anxieties about the long-term damage that a complete developers’ free-for-all may have done to our high streets.

“Local authorities now want to work with government to ensure that this new process protects people’s right to have a say on development and does not add a whole new complex layer of confusing bureaucracy into the planning system.”

The consultation closes on 15 October.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.