Friday, 8 January 2021


The UK Government is consulting on proposed changes to the planning system, which would allow commercial and industrial premises to be changed into housing without the need for planning permission.

Mebyon Kernow – the Party for Cornwall has described the proposed changes as “bonkers” and is calling on the residents of Cornwall to respond to a government consultation which closes on 28th January.

The consultation is titled “Supporting housing delivery and public service infrastructure.”

It seeks to create a new “permitted development right” that would allow “shops, offices, light industrial, restaurants, gyms, medical facilities and nurseries” to change to residential use without the need for planning permission.

The consultation document states that the proposed new “right” would apply “everywhere … not just on the high street or in town centres.” It also states that there is “no size limit on the buildings that can benefit from the right.”

In a statement issued today, I stated the following:

“The proposed planning changes are ill-prepared and inappropriate – bonkers even!

“For example, the changes as presently proposed would allow some very large buildings on strategic industrial estates to become housing without the need for a traditional planning consent. Important employment space would be lost.

“Sizeable buildings could also be turned into a large number of residential properties, without providing any affordable housing or making contributions for educational provision or infrastructure.

“Local planning authorities would further be powerless to stop buildings in inappropriate and unsustainable locations becoming residential properties.

“Please respond to the consultation and please contact your local MP to challenge them to oppose these ill-considered changes.”

The link to this consultation is as below:

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