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New commercial property planning rules deemed a ‘panic measure’

12th June 2013

For instance, developers will now be able to turn office buildings into residential units without gaining planning permission and without the requirement to create affordable housing.

Plus, business owners will be able to create “pop-up” shops in the high street in a bid to regenerate the UK’s ailing shop-fronted retail sector.

The Government believes this will encourage retail and residential development which could stimulate growth in the economy.

However, there has been strong criticism of the changes, including from commercial property lawyers, who believe the new rules will see high streets becoming places populated solely by money lenders and betting shops.

The Local Government Association says it believes this action could cause “lasting damage” and is solely a “panic measure”.

The new rules are set to apply for two years and come into force as a report by the Centre for Retail Research reveals findings which estimate that one in five shops will cease trading over the coming five years, with a loss of around 316,000 jobs.

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