High streets and town centres in 2030

Dated policies must be reformed to create an environment that will allow high streets and town centres to flourish in the future, a report published by the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee has found.

The report states that planning is crucial to high street and town centre transformation. Given this, the reprot states that Government should ensure that planning powers are fit-for-purpose, sufficiently responsive and up-to-date and undertake a comprehensive review of planning as it pertains to the high street.

In particular, the report finds that permitted development rights (PDRs) risk undermining the strategic vision that a community has developed for its high street or town centre. The Committee is therefore recommending that the Government should suspend any further extension of PDRs, pending an evaluation of their impact on the high street. Policies should reflect the wide variety of local circumstances. Councils should be actively encouraged to develop town centre masterplans and use their powers positively to renew their town centres. Where PDRs conflict with particular designations in the Local Plan or other established planning documents, councils should be given greater freedom to suspend PDRs in the affected area.

Author:  Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee

Date: 21 February 2019 Date of publication

This item updates DCP section 13.2

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