Initiatives to help the high street

Community ownership… £5 sales… pop-up shops…?

A renewed appreciation that Heritage is a money-spinner?

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Today’s Herald online carries a piece about “concerns over the number of businesses closing down on the town’s high street” – and the local MP’s response:

Struggling Sidmouth businesses urged to contact MP Simon Jupp | Sidmouth Herald

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The high street is indeed in need of some help – and it can be done in a creative, innovative way:

Reviving the high street: getting the mix right – Vision Group for Sidmouth

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Sidmouth High Street with bunting and flags

Looking at the government’s proposals for the high street, ‘Hot Food’ and betting shops will still need planning permission, although is unclear as to how these planning regs will work in Conservation Areas:

Flexible use on the high street: key facts brief – GOV.UK

The ‘building upwards’ regulations are in fact limited:

Fast-tracked approval for building upwards: key facts brief – GOV.UK

And “heritage” will impose other restrictions:

Fast-track planning for brownfield regeneration: key facts brief – GOV.UK

However, comment received shows concern for Sidmouth’s town centre:

“The idea that people could create their own ‘brownfield sites’ is a worrying concept when you take into account heritage and the carbon cost of demolishing and rebuilding.”

As does comment from another correspondent:

“I’m pretty sure that Conservation Areas and, of course, listed buildings, will remain protected, but I find the proposals very alarming.”

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Meanwhile, whilst Sidmouth does not suffer much with neglect of historic buildings, this might well be a useful Bill if it passes. As a commentator suggests, “It is perhaps showing a renewed appreciation that Heritage is a money-spinner?”

Debate: Planning (Proper Maintenance of Land) – 22nd Sep 2020

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And there are many other ideas being proposed over the last few days:

‘Community ownership is key to the survival of Britain’s high streets’ – Positive News

Local businesses launch ‘£5 sales’ to save high streets and get Brits spending again – Mirror Online

Are pop-up shops the future for the high street?

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Finally:

The British Independent Retailers Association is calling for new measures to protect high street traders.

It follows recent data from the British Retail Consortium and the Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC), revealing high street recovery from the impact of covid-19 remains slow. The requested measures have also been set out in anticipation, and to mitigate the impact, of further local or national lockdowns.

They include:
• Confirmation from the Government that business rates will not be reintroduced in April 2021
• Consideration and implementation of a voucher scheme, similar to the Eat Out to Help Out initiative, in the run up to Christmas
• Support for retailers looking to launch or expand their online presence.

More needed to future proof the high street , Pet Trade News & Events from Pet Business World UK

   
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