Latest Public Sector News

10.05.13

Buildings to be converted for other use – Pickles

New measures to allow buildings to be converted for other uses without planning permission have been introduced by communities secretary Eric Pickles.

The move aims to reduce bureaucracy on developing empty and underused buildings into homes and businesses. It will apply to high street premises, agricultural buildings under 500m2, offices, hotels and leisure centres.

Areas in 17 local authorities will be exempt from the new rights: in the City of London and the London boroughs of Camden, Islington, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Southwark, Lambeth, Wandsworth, Westminster, Newham, and Kensington and Chelsea. Other areas are in the borough councils of Vale of the White Horse, Stevenage, Ashford (Kent), the district councils of Sevenoaks and East Hampshire, and Manchester City Council.

Buildings can also be converted to become free schools under the new rules.

Pickles said: “There is huge untapped potential in the many disused existing buildings we have and we’re determined that every one of them is put to good use.

“By simplifying the process and relaxing some stringent rules we can provide a helping hand to those eager to boost their high streets or rural communities by cutting the time and costs needed to start up new businesses.

“These reforms will provide a boost to the exciting free schools programme. It will make it easier for parents and community activists to convert buildings into new schools.

“We’re also providing a great opportunity for outdated, redundant or underused offices to be brought back to life by converting them into homes, protecting the green belt and countryside at the same time. This will also increase footfall and provide knock-on benefits to the wider community.”

(Image: Geoff Caddick / PA Wire)

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@publicsectorexecutive.com

Comments

Alison Gibbon   12/05/2013 at 21:46

If it as all such a good idea, don't understand why it isn't applicable across the UK. Why the need for areas in 17 Local Authority areas ( mostly London /South - with the odd exception of Manchester City) to be exempt from these new rights.

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News

comment

Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >

interviews

Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >

the raven's daily blog

NSPCC: Working together to improve the support available for children who have been sexually abused

08/10/2019NSPCC: Working together to improve the support available for children who have been sexually abused

Hayley Clark, the acting head of development and impact at the NSPCC, talks about the significant gap in support services for children who have been sexually abused and the Ho... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >