search.noResults

search.searching

note.createNoteMessage

search.noResults

search.searching

orderForm.title

orderForm.productCode
orderForm.description
orderForm.quantity
orderForm.itemPrice
orderForm.price
orderForm.totalPrice
orderForm.deliveryDetails.billingAddress
orderForm.deliveryDetails.deliveryAddress
orderForm.noItems
12 COMMENT THE INDUSTRY ADVOCATE


Brian Berry, chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders


TIME TO LOOK AGAIN AT ‘LIVING OVER THE SHOP’


In the midst of the housing crisis, innovation could be vital in shaking up the industry. With this is mind, Brian Berry discusses the development opportunities that the space above shops can offer.


housing supply. Given the changing nature of our town centres and the willingness of recent governments to amend planning policy and enable changes of use, it is a logical extension to explore the role of space above shops for residential development. With the aim of tackling the crisis in housing


W


affordability, the Government has set itself an ambitious target of delivering 300,000 new homes a year in England. As most people in our industry appreciate, this is an ambitious figure, to put it mildly, and meeting it will require imagination.


The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) is of the view that there is significant untapped potential to create additional homes above shops on or near the high street. Indeed, it is estimated that as many as 400,000 new residential units could be created across the UK just by making better use of the empty spaces above shops on our high streets.


THIS SPACE IS LYING EMPTY AND COULD BE TURNED INTO GOOD QUALITY HOUSING IN A SHORT SPACE OF TIME


WWW.HBDONLINE.CO.UK


This space is lying empty and could be turned into good quality residential accommodation in a short space of time. These sorts of properties are often ideal for young professionals, or young families just starting out. They typically benefit from good transport links and are close to shops, bars and restaurants.


In order to address this issue, the FMB recently published a research report called ‘Homes on our High Streets’, aimed at putting forward creative recommendations for how this could be achieved. The FMB’s research looks at a range of different types of town centres (in terms of market strength, architecture etc) across Great Britain and highlights the opportunities that exist for creating new homes in a range of different building types.


As well as revealing what could be achieved by innovative and ambitious schemes, the research acknowledges some of the well-


ith the UK currently facing a severe housing crisis, it is important that we explore all options to increase our


established barriers to this type of development. The report suggests some practical ways in which local authorities can help facilitate the development of these empty spaces and puts councils at the heart of the solution. The research holds that local authorities should include proposals to make use of these empty spaces in their planning documents. Local authorities can also play an important facilitating role by working with local business and community groups to highlight the potential opportunities for these types of conversion and bring different parties together to help find ways to overcome the potential barriers to this type of work, such as disparate ownership and limited building access.


Encouraging more new build homes is of primary importance and will continue to be the main focus for policy makers. However, significant opportunities also exist in th development and improvement of our existing buildings for those with capacity and expertise in this area. This will depend on the strength of the local


market, types of building and the cost of conversion involved. The report makes clear that in more difficult markets and with more difficult building types, the Government should look to make finance available, whether through low cost loans, grants or other fiscal incentives. If the finance works and there is a willingness from local decision-makers, then opportunities will arise. Central and local government should take a keen interest in this initiative because making better use of these existing buildings could simultaneously help reverse the current housing shortage and reinvigorate our town centres. With ever-changing consumer habits, including the rise of online shopping, many high streets are struggling to remain relevant. We won’t want to demolish our town centres so it stands to reason that we should increasingly look to adapt them and make better use of these buildings.


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52