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Free schools to receive red tape reduction

The transformation of disused properties across the country into new free schools to help meet the educational needs of young people in the coming years is to be made that much easier.

According to the latest announcement from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), its new permitted development rights will enable almost any building to be transformed into a free school for up to one year without prior planning permission.

Drywall specialists could therefore be in greater demand over the coming months, as they work to transform properties that have fallen into a state of disrepair into premises for new educational establishments.

Communities and local government secretary Eric Pickles commented: "We want to make sure every child has the opportunity to benefit from a good education and by streamlining the planning permission process we can ensure new schools can open, good schools can expand and all state-funded schools can improve their facilities."

A total of 80 free schools have been opened across the UK over the last 18 months, helping to provide for the educational needs of thousands of young Britons.

Following this latest announcement, the government now hopes to see a further 100 free schools created and ready for use by the start of the new school year in September.

Meanwhile, the DCLG also recently revealed other permitted development inclusions that will see disused office stock transformed into new residential properties in towns and cities up and down the country.

It is hoped that allowing developers to refurbish these buildings for residential use will help in the delivery of up to 5,000 new homes over the coming months.

Mr Pickles stated: "Using previously developed land and buildings will help us promote economic growth, provide more homes and still ensure that we safeguard environmentally protected land." 

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