The Copers Cope Area Residents’ Association and West Beckenham Residents’ Association has written to the Council in support of a planning direction that will stop empty shops being allowed to change to residential without planning permission. The government introduced a rule allowing them to in August 2021 (see here).
We think it is essential that Beckenham High Street shop-fronts cannot be changed to residential without full planning approval (which gives local people, Cllrs and the Council a say). We must protect the character, heritage and function of our High Street and any changes of shop-fronts to residential must be carefully considered. We hope the the Article 4 Direction to withdraw the Permitted Development right for changes to residential use, proposed by the Council, will be implemented quickly.