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Relaxed planning laws introduced today | 30 May 2013

Businesses will find it easier to set up shop in a new commercial property, thanks to relaxed planning laws being introduced today.

The new laws allow developers to change the use of a commercial building without gaining planning permission for up to two years.

This will allow a bookmakers or payday loan company to rent the former site of an independent florist, for example, without the local authority or their constituents having any say.

According to freshbusinessthinking.com, it will also allow office space to be converted into residential properties, should the developers wish for this to occur.

The relaxed laws were introduced with the aim of reducing the amount of vacant retail space on Britain’s high streets. The Federation of Small Businesses has welcomed the move, claiming that it will help to speed up to regeneration of desolate town centres.

However, the Local Government Association’s environment and housing chairman Mike Jones has shared fears that it will lead to lack of variety on the high street.

“We have been clear that if we are to get people back out shopping in their local town centres we need to give them more say on what type of businesses and shops open there. Instead, from today they will have less,” he told bbc.co.uk.

The views expressed in this post are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Qube Global Software. All facts are verified where possible directly by the author.

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