High street shops into houses
Thursday 08 March 2018
Following a speech setting out how ministers hope to boost house-building, Theresa May revealed closed-down high street retail units could be converted into residential properties. Although the Prime Minister pointed to "protection" for UK high streets among Government action, she highlighted how "retailing is changing as more and more people buy goods online".
"One of the elements of the new planning rules we are setting out is to make it easier for shops to be turned into housing, if that's appropriate, but also for development above retail units to take place," Mrs May added. The Prime Minister rejected criticism of her housing policies from Local Government Association chair Lord Porter, who insisted it is "completely wrong" to blame councils for a failure to build more houses.
"The threat of stripping councils of their rights to decide where homes are built is unhelpful and misguided," he said. So, Government plays its part, local government will play its part, developers, planners, this is something we all need to come together to address."
The Prime Minister used her address to an audience in east London to warn developers she will "not rule out any options" in tackling a gap between granted planning permissions and the number of homes being built.