The changes, which are planned to come into effect by September through changes to the law, include:
— More types of commercial premises having total flexibility to be repurposed through reform of the Use Classes Order.
— A building used for retail, for instance, would be able to be permanently used as a café or office without requiring a planning application and local authority approval.
— Pubs, libraries, village shops and other types of uses essential to communities will not be covered by these flexibilities.
— A wider range of commercial buildings will be allowed to change to residential use without the need for a planning application.
— Builders will no longer need a normal planning application to demolish and rebuild vacant and redundant residential and commercial buildings if they are rebuilt as homes.
— Property owners will be able to build additional space above their properties via a fast track approval process, subject to neighbor consultation.
— Work will begin to look at how land owned by the government can be managed more effectively. ($1 = 0.8145 pounds) (Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; editing by William James)