The external advisory group to the Scottish government’s National Review of Town Centres project has this month published it’s findings, while the UK Government have advised that they will consult “soon” on proposals to
relax planning regulations to allow conversion of certain retail spaces into
residential use in England.
The announcement from Communities Secretary Eric Pickles was also confirmed in a report
reviewing progress since publication of the Portas review of the future of
the high street. Mr Pickles has stated that the “consultation proposes to transform dormant out-of-date offices, empty
shops and boarded up buildings into new homes. Bringing back to life our town
The Scottish National Review of Town Centres is an independent report which details key recommendations for re-energising Scotland’s town centres. Proposals to help breathe new life into town centres include:
• A ‘town centre first’ principle whereby public bodies will consider how they can support town centres before considering development elsewhere.
• Working with housing providers to bring empty town centre properties back into use as affordable housing.
• A town centre focus to review current business rates incentivisation schemes.
• A recommendation that public bodies should consider the impact of proposals to relocate services out of town centres.
• Broadening the appeal of town centres with a mix of leisure, public facilities and homes.