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Living Above The Shop Could Yield Nearly 2,000 New Birmingham Homes


Converting vacant retail buildings to residential use could provide as many as 1,939 new homes in Birmingham and Solihull. And if permission was given to add an extra story to those properties, the number rises to 3,887. Let them have extra stories and the total rises to 5,816.

This is the conclusion reached by planning consultant Turley in their Making Sense of Mixed-Use Town Centres report.

Turley said the Birmingham haul of new apartments is part of an 8M SF stock of unused town centre floorspace, providing up to 45,000 homes in the UK, Business Desk report.

However, conflicting advice is coming from the Royal Town Planning Institute.

The RTPI has warned that relaxing planning regulations and allowing retail assets to easily be converted to residential “could sound the death knell for many ailing high streets”.

The RTPI has written to housing minister Kit Malthouse questioning the wisdom of allowing permitted development rights to be extended. Currently the regulations allow offices to be converted without planning consent in most areas around the country.