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Revitalising Poole Town Centre High Street

It could soon become easier for new businesses to open up in Poole town centre High Street.

As part of a major new initiative to revitalise and rejuvenate this shopping area, Borough of Poole is planning to introduce a Local Development Order (LDO) to cover the area of High Street between North Street and New Orchard.

A LDO grants permission for specific types of development in a specific area thereby removing the need for a planning application.

At present there are a number of uses found in High Street mainly shops, financial and professional services, restaurants and cafes. However, the ability to change between these uses, and other uses suitable for High Street without planning permission is limited. Most changes of use would be subject to an eight week application process while planning permission is determined. During this time a prime retail unit would have stood vacant on High Street for two months stifling economic growth and job creativity.

The proposals laid out in the Draft LDO would allow the appropriate uses desired for this part of the town to change hands on a much freer basis without the need to submit a planning application. Local retailers and emerging businesses would be attracted by the prospect of reduced costs and time delays, with vacant units and ‘coming soon’ signs becoming a thing of the past. 
 
Proposals for a Draft LDO will be heard at the Economy Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 24 January before going out to public consultation.

Councillor Mike White, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Planning and Regeneration, Borough of Poole, said: "This is an exciting opportunity that allows us to free up bureaucracy, support new businesses and underlines our commitment that Poole is ‘open for business’. The consultation process is important to getting the order right and I am looking forward to the comments that will help us achieve a speedy decision from the Minister who has to approve the initiative."