‘Pop-up’ shops given planning boost

Steeles Law Head of Planning & Environment David Merson previously reported on Coalition proposals to revise the planning system and in particular proposals to amend the Use Classes Order. He now looks at Communities Secretary Eric Pickles’ announcement today highlighting the proposals to remove restrictions on temporary use of empty high street shops.

Temporary or so called 'pop-up' shops often use empty high street shop premises until a permanent tenant can be found.

The time and cost associated with securing the necessary consent required to comply with any planning rules controlling what type of business a shop can be used for can often make the difference between the venture ever getting off the ground or not. In addition, empty high street shops give rise to many problems: lost revenues, blight, economic stagnation and anti-social behavior.

It is now proposed that Landlords would be free to temporarily change the use of an empty shop for two years where the use would be low impact which the Coalition believes can help reinvigorate the high street. Appropriate temporary uses changes are though likely to be within use classes A1 (e.g. retail shops, hairdressers, post offices), A2 (e.g. banks, betting shops, employment agencies), A3 (e.g. restaurants and cafes) and B1 (offices).

Details of the consultation exercise can be found here. The consultation period runs for ten weeks from the date of publication on 3 July 2012 and end on 11 September 2012. 

If you require further information or advice on any issues raised in this article or any other planning & environmental matter please contact David Merson on 020 7421 1720 or dmerson@steeleslaw.co.uk

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