“Rip up planning laws to save the high street”

“Coalition of retailers and landlords: rip up planning laws to save the high street:

A coalition of retailers, landlords, councils and pubs has called for planning laws to be reformed so that abandoned shops can be turned into cafes, galleries, gyms and other businesses more easily which could help rejuvenate Britain’s high streets.

It said empty units are often hard to let ­because it can be difficult and expensive to get permission to change their use and is calling for more flexibility in planning legislation to help compete with online businesses. The LGA said it is time to recognise “a contraction in retail floor space” may be needed to help high streets survive.”

Sunday Telegraph (Business & Money p1)