So, the Government has recognised that the world in the High Street has changed and it does not intend to put the squeezed out toothpaste back in the tube.  This is its justification for the flexibility of the 'new' Class E use class - which has been with us now for almost a year - allowing shops to convert to a wide range of town centre uses.  

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government's new policy document Build Back Better High Streets has announced a number of sensible measures aimed at regenerating town centres.   This planning flexibility is at the core of the policy, but despite a number of recent statements that the Government will not accept a watering down of these rights, sensibly authorities will still be able to do that through the use of Article 4 directions in respect of the "smallest area possible" where there is evidence that this is necessary.

On top of this the document confirms the longstanding policy of using compulsory purchase powers to acquire vacant properties that stand in the way of regeneration, but really there's nothing new about this, nor is there a need for additional guidance.

In addition there is to be greater encouragement (and rights) to expand the cafe culture in town centres and (which will be music to the ears of planning committee members) further advice on how planning conditions can be applied to prevent and clean up litter caused by fast food outlets.