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New rights to help transform buildings

Communities secretary Eric Pickles has outlined the government's commitment to help make the transformation of disused properties across the country into productive developments all the more easier.

Based on recommendations set out in the Mary Portas high street review, the government aims to provide a significant boost to renovation activities up and down the UK by offering a simplified route for developers keen to carry out transformative works on old and run-down properties.

"These reforms will provide a boost to the exciting free schools programme. It will make it easier for parents and community activists to convert buildings into new schools," commented Mr Pickles.

"We're also providing a great opportunity for outdated, redundant or underused offices to be brought back to life by converting them into homes, protecting the green belt and countryside at the same time."

He added that by simplifying the planning process and relaxing some of the more stringent rules on redevelopment, new specification for projects approval will ensure increased footfall on high streets and help in the reinvigoration of many rural communities.

Indeed, Mr Pickles stated the government's aim is to ensure every property on the UK high street is put to good use.

The news follows the recent royal assent approval of the Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013, which will have far-reaching impact on the UK's development landscape in the years to come.

It sets out a number of key reforms, including the removal of a considerable amount of red tape that construction providers claim have clogged the system of delivering new projects in recent years.

Furthermore, it is hoped that planning approval for up to 75,000 new homes will be unblocked by the introduction of this new legislation - a situation the coalition government is keen to quickly enact, as the nation continues to face an ongoing housing crisis. 

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