The Government’s response to a consultation on removing barriers to business growth in the planning system has been welcomed by the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS).
ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “We are pleased that the Government has recognised the need for reform of the planning system to support high street businesses and other local shops. It is clear that the concerns we raised in our submission have been listened to and we welcome the changes that have been made to allow convenience store owners to develop and grow their businesses, and help high streets to evolve and diversify.”
Measures featured in the consultation response include:
• the introduction of new permitted development rights to allow change of use from shops (A1) and financial/professional services (A2), betting shops and payday loan shops to restaurants and cafés (A3), subject to prior approval in respect of noise, odours, transport and highways, hours of opening and impact on the shopping area;
• a new right allowing the change of use of shops (A1), financial and professional services (A2), betting shops and pay day loan shops to assembly and leisure (D2) for premises under 200 square metres, subject to prior approval in respect of noise, transport and highways, hours of opening and impact on the shopping area;
• allowing loading bays to increase in size by up to 20%;
• not allowing permitted development rights allowing shops to build mezzanine floors above the 200 square metre threshold, as it is unlikely to contribute further to the objective of supporting high streets and town centres; and
• Making permanent the right for shops, offices, financial and professional services to extend by up to 100 square metres (or by 50%, whichever is smaller) to develop their businesses in response to changing demand.