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RTPI reiterates opposition to introduction of new PDRs

14 March 2019

In a detailed response to the Spring Statement, the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) has again urged the Government to consider the impact of new permitted development rights (PDRs) on local high streets and the quality of housing.

As part of yesterday’s statement, the Chancellor announced that new PDRs for change of use and upwards extension of existing buildings would be introduced.

Prior to the statement, the RTPI had written to Housing Minister Kit Malthouse, urging him to drop proposals to create the new PDRs, and today it reiterated those concerns in a new letter to MPs.

RTPI President Ian Tant said:

“We urge the Government to consider the impact that the new PDRs would have on our ailing high streets if takeaways and other shops are allowed to become residential flats. No one would argue against the need for more affordable homes, or that high streets must adapt, but change must be part of a planned, local vision.”

The RTPI believes that the new PDRs announced yesterday will impair the ability of local authorities to manage development according to the needs of local communities. Indeed, by removing the requirement for a planning application, the RTPI says that the local community will be excluded from having their say.

RTPI’s Head of Policy Richard Blyth said:

“Expanding PDRs will neither help deliver thriving high streets nor high quality affordable local housing. This is contrary to the spirit and objectives of the Government’s Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission and will undermine the outcomes of the proposed consultation on Better Planning for High Streets.”


Read the RTPI's detailed response to the Spring Statement 2019