ACS: Planning System Must Protect Local High Streets and Communities

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has responded to a House of Commons Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee inquiry on the Government’s approach to permitted development rights (PDR), highlighting the need for the Government to protect the integrity of local high streets and access to essential services.

The inquiry was launched following recent reforms to broaden the Use Class Order to reflect the growth of mixed-use retail units and the UK Government’s intentions to expand permitted development rights from 1st August for retail units vacant for three months or longer to be converted into housing.

In the submission, ACS recognised the importance of flexibility within the planning system but called for the Government to ensure that any changes of use should only be approved following careful and measured consideration of: the impact on the economic health of the local area, the need to maintain an adequate provision of access to essential local services and the potential impact on the character of an area.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Permitted development rights can play an important role in helping high streets and communities adapt to meet changing consumer demands but it is important that these changes are made on a measured and planned basis to prevent commercial to residential conversions from undermining the viability of neighbourhood parades and local access to groceries and essential services.  

ACS’ full submission is available here.

This entry was posted by Chloe on Fri, 30/04/2021 - 10:29