Changes to planning laws could change the look of the high street

As part of the Governments plans to rejuvenate the UK high street, plans have been put together to enable businesses to easily change the use of business premises without the need for planning permission. They are hoping that this will make it easier for business owners to take over empty high street premises and decrease the number of boarded up shops. Despite the good intentions, the Local Government Association (LGA) has said that these changes could make it easier for pay day loan companies and betting shops to open up on the high street. Without the requirement for planning permission and public consultation there would no longer be the consideration into the impact such premises would have on the high street and no regulation around their numbers. In addition there is concern that developers would easily be able to take high street shops and turn them into flats without the need for permission. The LGA has said that it doesn’t want to hinder businesses but there needs to be some regulation around the businesses that arrive on high streets. The theory behind the changes is to stimulate the economy and get people spending in their local communities again, and with this in mind the LGA argue that the local communities themselves need to have a say in what businesses they welcome. The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.  Setfords Solicitors are a national full service law firm, with planning solicitors in Birmingham and across the country.