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227487
star this property registered interest false more like this
star this property date less than 2015-03-16more like thismore than 2015-03-16
star this property answering body
Department for Communities and Local Government more like this
unstar this property answering dept id 7 more like this
star this property answering dept short name Communities and Local Government more like this
star this property answering dept sort name Communities and Local Government more like this
star this property hansard heading Empty Property: Shops more like this
star this property house id 1 more like this
star this property legislature
25259
star this property pref label House of Commons more like this
star this property question text To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to reduce the length of time that vacant shops remain empty. more like this
star this property tabling member constituency Hendon more like this
star this property tabling member printed
Dr Matthew Offord more like this
star this property uin 227690 remove filter
star this property answer
answer
unstar this property is ministerial correction false more like this
unstar this property date of answer less than 2015-03-23more like thismore than 2015-03-23
star this property answer text <p>Our town centres and high streets have undergone dramatic changes over the last decade- the rise of online shopping, the effect of out of town retail parks and huge shifts in consumer spending patterns have all offered significant challenges. However, despite this, our high streets and town centres have fought back and up and down the country teams of local people are working hard to make our high streets great places to visit, live or work.</p><p> </p><p>A recent study from Southampton University showed how high streets are facing these challenges head on, meeting customers’ needs by offering a more convenient, creative and varied shopping experience, which increasingly offers more leisure opportunities.</p><p> </p><p>Furthermore, since 2010 national vacancy rates have continued to fall. Recent research by Deloitte showed that since 2009, high street vacancies as a result of high-profile administrations had been filled more successfully than those in out-of-town shopping centres and out-of-town retail parks.</p><p> </p><p>However the Government is not complacent and understands that the town centre needs to continue to evolve towards the provision of services and leisure alongside traditional retail. We are committed to supporting our high streets to embrace that change and to continue to hold their place at the heart of our communities.</p><p> </p><p>The Government has taken a number of significant steps to tackle vacant shops. We have relaxed planning rules to support “meanwhile use” as well as introducing new permitted development rights making it simpler to change use, so making it easier for businesses to respond to the needs of their communities.</p><p> </p><p>We have also taken forward a range of measures to tackle over-zealous parking enforcement that undermines the vitality of town centres, driving people out of town. We are restricting the use of CCTV ‘spy cars’ to enforce parking (through the Deregulation Bill currently going through Parliament). We have introduced 10 minute ‘grace periods’ when parking on-street allowing additional parking time before a late penalty is imposed, which will come into force in early April. We have published new statutory guidance allowing local people and businesses to demand a review of parking in their area, and we are reforming parking guidance so it is less heavy handed with motorists.</p><p> </p><p>The Government has also introduced a range of support for high streets through business rates. As well as offering business rate discounts to new occupants of previously empty shops, the Government has doubled Small Business Rate Relief for a further year (2015-16) and offered a 2% cap on the inflation increase for 2015-16, for the second year. This comes in addition to funding 50% of all local discounts granted, increasing the temporary discount for shops, pubs and restaurants with rateable values below £50,000 and offering a 100% rate relief for empty new builds. Finally, as announced at Autumn Statement 2014, the Government is also undertaking a long-term and wide-ranging review of business rates to ensure they are fit for purpose for a 21st century economy and allow our high streets to thrive.</p><p> </p><p>We have also championed the innovative use of vacant shops through <a href="http://thegreatbritishhighstreet.co.uk/high-street-of-the-year-award" target="_blank">the Great British High Street Competition.</a> A number of the entrants set out the innovative ways that they are tackling empty shops on the high streets and we have promoted their examples on the <a href="http://thegreatbritishhighstreet.co.uk/" target="_blank">Great British High Street Portal</a> and through documents such as <a href="http://thegreatbritishhighstreet.co.uk/pdf/GBHS-Celebrating-The-GB-High-Street.pdf" target="_blank">Celebrating the Great British High Street</a>.</p><p> </p><p> </p>
star this property answering member constituency Portsmouth North more like this
star this property answering member printed Penny Mordaunt remove filter
star this property question first answered
less than 2015-03-23T17:42:01.277Zmore like thismore than 2015-03-23T17:42:01.277Z
star this property answering member
4017
star this property label Biography information for Penny Mordaunt more like this
star this property tabling member
4006
unstar this property label Biography information for Dr Matthew Offord more like this