Leading industry bodies warn that plan for vacant shop-to-residential conversions will not save our high streets - News

Search News

Results: 1-10 of 333

Latest #BikeIsBest film shows exciting opportunities for the industry

6 Oct 2020

Watch the latest #BikeIsBest film to see the headline figures on the campaign's reach and success.
Read more…

Activate Cycle Academy's New Cytech Training Facility Opens

7 Sep 2020

The new cycle mechanics training facility at Merrist Wood College in Guildford, managed by Cytech training provider Activate Cycle Academy (ACA), has oficially opened and courses are being... Read more…

Independent Retailers Confederation partners with ‘shopping appointment' solution to bring confidence back to shopping

18 Aug 2020

New service eliminates the need for customers to queue to get into independent shops
Read more…

Get Pumped Up to cycle and join the World's Biggest Bike Ride on 12 September

14 Aug 2020

Cycling UK have launched a new campaign- Pumped Up- to celebrate the joy of the bike across our towns, cities and countryside and reminding people about the fun and freedom that cycling... Read more…

Buy Now Pay Later providers cause concern across UK as debt rises

6 Aug 2020

Increased scrutiny is being placed upon the UK's growing use of Buy Now Pay Later services
Read more…

Inquiry launched examining how high streets can survive the economic and social effects of Covid-19

21 Jul 2020

The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee has announced a new inquiry to examine how high streets can survive the economic and social consequences of Covid-19.
Read more…

Activate Cycle Academy to start delivering the new Bicycle Mechanic Apprenticeship Standard

13 Jul 2020

Following the recent Government announcement pledging extra investment and funding for businesses hiring an apprentice, Cytech training provider Activate Cycle Academy (formerly ATG Training)... Read more…

Cytech's Training Centres plan to re-open in June

28 May 2020

After 2 months of inactivity within the Cytech workshop training facilities, training providers Activate Cycle Academy, PJCS and South Africa's Torq Zone Academy are re-opening in June following... Read more…

WANTED: Government Support for Retail Owners

6 Apr 2020

The ACT has initiated a campaign to support retail owners with a scheme comparable to theJob Retention Scheme for our employees.
Read more…

Local Bike Shop Day 2020 postponed following retailer vote

31 Mar 2020

As Local Bike Shop Day is a day encompassing the whole trade, the final judgement was given to the bike shops that had signup to take part. Out of all the respondents the overwhelming majority -... Read more…

Back to news menu

Leading industry bodies warn that plan for vacant shop-to-residential conversions will not save our high streets

Posted on in Business News , Cycles News , Political News

On the 18Closed streetth Feb 2021 leading industry bodies, including The ACT, ActSmart and many other members of the Independent Retailers Confederation (IRC), issued a joint letter to The Rt. Hon. Robert Jenrick MP - Secretary of State for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) - to urge the Government to recognise that its proposals for a blanket permitted development right on our high streets, enabling conversions to residential without planning permission, puts the future of our town centres at serious risk.

However, the MHCLG have now confirmed that the simplified planning process for retail to residential conversions will be going ahead.

The simplified planning process applies to units vacant for at least three months and smaller than 1,500 square metres. These conversions will no longer require full planning permission but instead use prior approval processes to sign off conversions unless there are significant flooding or noise concerns. This concludes MHCLG's consultation on planning flexibility and supporting housing delivery.

The proposal has been positioned as supporting new housing delivery, and part of the solution to the challenges facing UK town centres and high streets - especially in the wake of numerous lockdowns and tiering restrictions due to the Covid pandemic. 

Many organisations, including the British Property Federation (BPF) and London First are opposing the government proposals, saying the "uncontrolled conversion" of vacant shops to residential "will not save our high streets " and "damage town centres".

The BPF launched an appeal to urge the UK Government to recognise "the damaging impact" the plans could have on the future of the country's high streets. The BPF said the proposal would have significant adverse consequences and exacerbate the decline of the UK's high streets, far outweighing any positive contribution to new housing supply.

The lobby group said post-Covid high street recovery would depend on a "vibrant and carefully curated mix" of retail, residential, leisure, hospitality, education, healthcare, logistics and community facilities and services.

"Rather than encouraging careful consideration of what might be the most appropriate use for a store and its location, within the context of the entire high street, this new PDR will result in property developers prioritising residential," the BPF stated.


Back to news menu

Useful links

If you have any other queries please contact us.

The Cycling Experts is brought to you by the Association of Cycle Traders.