24 Oct

to let

Budget move could mean empty shops turned into homes

Empty shops could be converted into homes to meet ever-increasing demand for new property in England.

The Financial Times reports that Chancellor Philip Hammond is examining how to change the planning system in England as part of his Autumn Budget.

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Revive high streets

With many high streets filled with empty retail units as retailers move to out-of-town developments, town centres are seen to be in decline.

Changing the planning rules to allow local authorities to give the go-ahead for a change of use from retail to domestic use could revive high streets by filling them with families who would then use the remaining retail outlets.

Measures could affect property market

The Budget, to be delivered on October 29, is expected to include several measures that will affect the UK’s property market.

Mr Hammond is expected to announce tax breaks for landlords who sell directly to their tenants with financial incentives for both landlord and renter.

Stamp Duty Land Tax could also be targeted. In the 2017 Budget, the Chancellor introduced exemptions for first-time buyers, and those exemptions could be extended to include downsizers who are often discouraged from moving out of larger properties because of the cost of smaller homes.