Minister to suggest allowing shops to be converted into homes without planning permission.
Town halls face losing significant powers over the future of their high streets under Whitehall plans to allow shops to be converted into homes without planning permission.
In a move that signifies the widening acceptance that changing shopping habits and the economic downturn have sent the British high street into rapid retreat, the planning minister, Nick Boles, will this week propose scrapping existing rules protecting shop units, including banks and building societies, and allowing them to become housing.
He wants owners to have “permitted development rights” to make the transformation, in the same way that the government has allowed residents to build extensions of up to eight metres without applying for planning permission.
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