High streets 'need common sense planning to aid revival'

A claim that in order to revitalise high streets planning 'needs to become simpler, quicker and full of common sense' features in today's newspaper round-up.

Writing in today’s Telegraph, Sir John Timpson, who has today published the findings on a government-commissioned review into the future of high streets, says that "clearing obstacles out of the way" to enable the regeneration of high streets "will mostly involve planning, the process for which needs to become simpler, quicker and full of common sense".

The Times (subscription) reports that "a thatched bus shelter, a cattle trough and Robin Hood sculptures are among landmarks gaining listed status this year". The paper says that highlights from the 952 buildings and sites given protection by heritage watchdog Historic England "also include Charles Barry’s elaborately tiled and styled Crystal Palace pedestrian subway in south London, and the thatched cricket pavilion at Uppingham School, Rutland".

The Times also reports that "the number of homes sold by local authorities under the right-to-buy scheme fell by 22 per cent in the three months to October compared with the same period last year amid a slowdown in the housing market". The paper says that "more than 2,400 homes were sold under the right-to-buy scheme compared with 3,115 properties, the ministry of housing, communities and local government said".

A ‘long read’ article in the Financial Times (subscription) looks at how London’s Crossrail project "stalled". The paper says that "London’s new rail line used private sector expertise but has been mired in cost increases and delays".

The FT reports that the government "insisted it was ‘on track’ to sell £5bn of its property portfolio by 2020 despite appearing to be well behind its target". The paper says that, "to meet its goal set out in 2014, ministers would need to sell £2.56bn of assets next year after completing £2.44bn worth of sales since 2015. They have already sold off almost a third of the properties in the government’s ‘core estate’ over eight years and reduced the space occupied by each civil servant by 17 per cent".

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