Urban Areas: Shops

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities written question – answered at on 27 February 2023.

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Photo of Alberto Costa Alberto Costa Conservative, South Leicestershire

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether his Department has taken steps to help increase the diversity of local high streets to encourage more people to shop locally.

Photo of Dehenna Davison Dehenna Davison Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)

This Government is fully committed to supporting our town centres and high streets to adapt and evolve. We are enabling places to transform their high streets and town centres into thriving commercial, social and cultural hubs.  We also strongly support people shopping locally.

To do so, we have reformed the use classes order to enable more flexible use of existing buildings. The use class reform creates a new 'commercial, business and service' use class which encompasses a wide range of uses which attract people to high streets and town centres. This includes offices and other business uses, shops, cafes, gyms and other uses for visiting members of the public which are suitable in a high street. Premises can move between such uses without the need for a planning application. This builds on longer-term structural interventions and funding by Government to support high streets and town centres, including the £3.6bn Towns Fund, £4.8bn Levelling Up Fund and the work of the High Street Task Force which has now supported around 115 local authorities in areas such as placemaking, planning and design.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State was pleased to visit the New Lubbesthorpe community on 24 February 2023 and to see first-hand how such long-term structural interventions can benefit communities.

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