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The Relaxation of Planning Rules Could See A Big Change to UK High Streets - For Landlords and Developers Opportunity Knocks

UNITED KINGDOM / AGILITYPR.NEWS / July 03, 2020 / The relaxation of planning rules announced by the Prime Minister, could lead to big changes on the British High Street say leading tax and advisory firm, Blick Rothenberg.

Heather Powell, Property partner at the firm said: “ This will allow owners of recently vacant properties to change their use without applying for planning permission. This could lead to a huge change in our high Streets, retail Parks and commercial areas.


She added: “ Landlords who feel they have been beaten up both by the government and by tenants have now been given a huge advantage, they will soon be able to not only evict tenants but switch to a more lucrative use of their properties.”


Heather said: “ Landlords hands have been tied in negotiations with tenants due to the restrictions imposed about the collection of rent. If tenants do not pay up after the end of September (and how many non-paying tenants will be able to pay the March, June and September rent in full in October?) the landlord can now evict them and switch the use for their properties.”


She added: “ The Prime Minister clearly hopes many properties will be converted to new homes, but alternative uses are much broader. Landlords can convert their premises to cafes, offices – or new homes. If they do not have the appetite or expertise to undertake the work themselves, they can sell to a developer.

“For passive investors, or those who have invested via SIPPS, sale to a developer may be the only option, but it will allow them to exit from an investment where returns have plummeted.”


Heather said: “ “For owners of Retail Malls this could be the lifeline they need to avoid Intu’s fate. Large regeneration schemes that have fought their way through the planning system have shown what is possible.

“Landlords should be assessing their options now – and developers should be speaking to their funders and investors so that they are well placed to take advantage of these opportunities. It might event be good news for the Intu shareholders – they may just get a few pence back on their shares!”

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Blick Rothenberg is a market leading accounting, tax and advisory practice.

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Blick Rothenberg is a CogitalGroup company.