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Response to The Times Red Box column on PDR change and planning reform

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In response to incorrect reporting on a new permitted development right (PDR) and the wider impact of the government’s recent planning reform white paper in the piece by Mike Amesbury MP in the Times Red Box today.

The column implies the new permitted development right - which enables certain commercial building to be changed into residential properties - will lead to poor quality, substandard housing. It also claims the planning reforms will take individual planning decisions away from local communities.

This is a fundamental misinterpretation of the detail on both issues and we wanted to provide certainty and clarity on these changes.

We expect all developers to deliver quality homes and they must all meet building regulations.

Changes we’ve made to the law in recent months mean new homes delivered through permitted development rights will be required to meet national space standards and provide adequate natural light.

Our planning reforms give communities a genuinely meaningful voice from the start of the planning process. Rather than being given a binary choice between opposing or ignoring a planning application, local people will be a part of the discussion when it matters.

These changes include new digital technologies meaning that local communities can engage in new ways with development in their area.

Important community facilities such as pubs, theatre and live music venues will be protected as they fall outside of the commercial, business and service use class specific in the new law.

The right also includes a vacancy requirement that will ensure the building changing use has been vacant for 3 months before the date of the application to protect successful businesses which are thriving in these premises.

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