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Eversheds comment: NPPF’s greater permitted rights could deliver commerce and enterprise to UK towns

  • United Kingdom

    16-12-2014

    Commenting on the controversial National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which allows shops and offices to be converted without planning permission Stuart Andrews, head of the national planning team at law firm Eversheds, says:

    “The NPPF is fairly simple in its terms and places the burden on Council’s to produce local development strategies in up to date Local Plans. If a Council doesn’t produce an effective and up to date plan, then the presumption in favour of sustainable development kicks in to fill the void. However, this is the root of the problem because Council’s have to determine their ‘objectively assessed’ housing needs and then make unpalatable decisions as to the locations for growth. Again, it is all about ‘turkeys voting for Christmas’.

    “As for town centres, the problem isn’t permitted development rights. You can see in most high streets the effects of limiting and unimaginatively restrictive policies in the profusion of vacant units, charity shops and takeaways. The flexibility of greater permitted rights might just deliver some commerce and enterprise to town centres and should be welcomed as the vehicle for change.”

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