So what goes in your #HighstreetsManifesto…?

🔟 Maybe, to no-one’s great surprise, my starter for 10 would be on vacancy. If we’re only allowed 1, then one of these…?

  • Ask (and resource) every local authority to report on #highstreet vacancy numbers and work with agents, landlords, businesses, community and BID where there is one to overcome barriers to let to include…
  • Give them powers to override national use class guidance and permitted development rules in line with local priorities;
  • Create new local powers to end business rates avoidance and evasion and allow flexibility in the guidance to incentivise tackling vacancy eg around thresholds, ‘fit to occupy’, listed building charity (and CIC) and second unit reliefs;

🪜 Strengthen (and resource) powers to enforce and encourage funding schemes to help with minimum ‘fit to occupy’ standards on all highstreet buildings;

  • Sweep away the additional letting requirements on councils when they are landlords so that local authorities are all beacons of good practice;

🤳🏽 Require every vacant highstreet unit to be marketed with a registered agent and the place to have a publicly available listing;

  • Change the regulations which keep units empty when the previous tenant went into administration or left with time to go on their lease;

💷 Build funds to support #community right to buy including the co-ordination and #property skills to make it happen and be sustainable;

  • Develop a series of pop up use projects leading to longer pilots based on successful examples for arts & crafts, culture, creative and community uses;

🏥 Mandate all NHS Trusts to work with their places to develop accessible first contact & diagnostic services in town centres.

🤔 What would you add / adjust…?

Especially keen to hear from commercial agent colleagues as you’re at the heart of tackling vacancy work…

…and from #placemaking friends with other specialisms for their 10…?


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