High Streets: What is the impact of the new PDR rules?

Civic Voice still monitors prior approval applications for change of use from Class E (high street uses) to C3 (residential), but we need your help to do this.

The successive changes and widening of permitted development rights and prior approval have been of genuine concern to the civic movement in recent years. Civic Voice objected to the Government’s proposal to bring in a new request to allow properties in Class E (high street uses) to change to residential use because we were concerned that it could:

  • Be harmful to the diversity of high streets, town and city centres.
  • Create poor quality homes and living environments
  • Lead to loss of historical character in Conservation Areas through inappropriate development and unsympathetic alterations.
  • Whilst there is broad support for the intention of the policy to introduce more housing in town centres, there is very little support for the mechanism being used – through the permitted development and prior approval process – because of the unintended consequences.

We want to be constructive and support the Government to find the right solutions for our high streets and communities. We want to encourage more housing in town centres, but we must ensure that suitable checks and balances are in place to mitigate against the unintended consequences.

You can help us with this study by volunteering for Civic Voice by monitoring applications in your area and reporting the results to us for analysis. This evidence is crucial for us to lobby on your behalf, feeding back the reality of this policy on the ground, directly to Government.

If you would like to attend a briefing on the new rights and how you can get involved, contact Sarah James at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).