Many of our members have operated on high streets around the UK for many years. High Street stores are important because they provide financial services and play their part in local communities. To find out more click here.
Unfortunately, over the last few years, a number of councils have looked into changing planning regulations to restrict the number of short-term lenders on the high street.
For example, Islington council undertook a preliminary consultation on a discussion paper and questionnaire in 2014. This was followed by a consultation on a draft SPD (Location and Concentration of Uses Supplementary Planning Document) between 10 July and 4 September 2015, which was adopted by the council on 21 April 2016.
In our view, this as an example of politicians seeking to use planning regulations to meet their political objectives.
The BCCA made a submission to Islington Council in response to their consultation highlighting the fact they have based their approach on an outdated view of short-term lending and explaining the value in the service.
We have recently had similar discussions with the Scottish Government about the options they are considering for changing planning regulations in Scotland.
Our overarching belief is that a line needs to be drawn under the past, and the market should be considered in its present form.
From a public policy perspective, there may have been problems in the past but we have seen major changes in the lending regulations.
Whilst from a planning perspective, the number of stores on the high street has dropped in recent years. There is no sign of the ‘payday proliferation’ that might cause changes to town planning.
To see our latest news posts on the topic of ‘planning issues’ please click on the links below:
Please note BCCA members also receive regular ‘members only’ briefings on this issue.