Estate agents might not want to consider leaving the high street if proposals in a new report are acted upon.
The document suggests that thousands of new homes could be delivered across the UK by developing vacant space in high streets. Were this to happen, they would be a lifeline for local shops and other high street businesses.
The findings are highlighted in Making Sense of Mixed-Use Town Centres, a report by planning and development consultancy Turley that says town centres need to embrace mixed-use development to thrive – and that there is currently 8m sqm of unused floorspace across the UK’s urban centres.
If just 35% of this vacant space were apportioned to residential development, the report says more than 45,000 homes could be delivered.
The report describes this as a conservative figure, and assumes new homes would not be built above the level of existing buildings.
However, it says that “significantly” more than 45,000 homes could be delivered with only modest increases in height. If tall buildings were introduced, there would be even more homes on the high street.
The report says that new residential development on high streets has a “key role” in supporting footfall into high street shops and other business outlets.