New Town Centre Opportunities For Homebuyers
2 minute read
Reviving town centres, following the demise of big name retailers, will be critical to the local and national economy.
For generations, department stores were the major attraction for visitors to towns and cities across the country; large office blocks may become surplus to requirements as more businesses adopt policies to support working from home, whilst small warehouses have been overtaken by large out of town delivery centres. Finding alternative uses is essential to avoid further High Street decline.
One solution is to repurpose for housing, bringing significant benefits to people wanting easy access to amenities, including transport, entertainment and hospitality venues. Creating a vibrant, safe, living environment demands a fresh approach, to attract people of all ages, including downsizers and those who live alone.
Changes to Planning legislation in recent years allows such premises to be adapted under ‘permitted development rights’. However, quality varies and anyone considering buying into such a scheme should check out the minimum standards required for compliance – as well as for your comfort.
Such buildings offer huge potential if reconfigured to the highest standards, designed for that all-important sense of community, integral to the local authority’s revival strategy, with appropriate landscaping, pedestrian areas, meeting future demands for the ‘green’ agenda, and electric car recharging points.
Apartments must satisfy minimum space standards of 37 sq.metres (unfortunately, this is not always the case, and accommodation can be too cramped) and creative open plan designs can maximise this requirement. Higher ceilings and big windows emphasise a desirable modern style.
Other issues demanding attention are how commercial buildings are reconfigured, with new floors and walls constructed, and how well insulated for heat conservation and noise intervention. In some cases, commercial space may be retained on the ground floor and home buyers must be alert to what businesses will take up leases and their opening hours.
To protect your interests, always have a professional survey, and consult Building Regulations for evidence of full compliance by the construction company.
The best schemes are already proving popular, and our advisers at Just Mortgage Brokers can explore the best mortgage options to suit your personal circumstances.