High street planning support from Government

High streets across the country will be better equipped to meet the needs of their customers under measures just announced.

From April 15, shops and other retailers will be able to install “click and collect” lockers without the bureaucracy of getting planning permission. The Government hopes the move will encourage more shoppers to their high streets, enabling them to visit more shops to collect online purchases.

The UK is the biggest user of click and collect services, with use expected to double within three years. Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis said: “Far from threatening the high street, online shopping offers a new opportunity. How we shop is changing radically and I want to help our high streets thrive from online competition. These measures will mean even more retailers can offer ‘click and collect’ services, encouraging shoppers to visit their businesses and pick up their

purchases at a time that suits them.”

As well as enabling new ‘click and collect’ facilities to be installed without planning permission, other planning changes include: Increasing flexibility on the high street so that shops, restaurants and banks can change use between one another, bringing other uses to the high street by allowing shops, banks and estate agents to change use to cinemas and gyms, always requiring planning permission to change use to a betting shop or payday loan shop, making permanent the right for shops, offices, financial and professional services to extend by 100 square metres, and 200 square metres for warehouse and industrial premises; and enabling retailers to increase the size of existing loading bays by up to 20% to make deliveries easier.