UKHospitality has responded to the Government’s consultation on planning reform emphasising the need for flexible use of space to allow hospitality businesses to thrive. UKH has supported proposals to merge A1, A2 and A3 use classes to support both businesses and customers, and emphasised the importance of hospitality to the future success of the high street.

UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “Hospitality businesses are integral to high streets and will have a significant role to play if they are to prosper. Flexibility is increasingly important for both businesses and customers looking to take advantage of multi-use spaces. More than ever, commercial space is being used fluidly and the planning system should be able to encourage dynamic use of the high street.

“Hospitality is at the centre of the high street and the consultation correctly acknowledges the important role it plays. Hospitality businesses are integral to communities around the country and the sector should be at the forefront when the Government considers reform of planning regulation. Removing burdensome red tape and restrictions can help hospitality businesses make good use of their available space in an environment where costs are continually increasing.

“Merging of A1, A2 and A3 legislation into a single class would allow businesses to open quickly in empty units and enable them to effectively diversify to meet consumer demand. It benefits nobody if property is sat empty, so measures to encourage flexibility and ensure that space is put to good use is a positive step if the Government is committed to supporting high streets.”

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