You can rely on our commercial searches for potential high street homes

You can rely on our commercial searches for potential high street homes

New rules making it easier for commercial buildings to be converted into residential homes have come in to force this month. As part of government plans designed to revitalise the UK’s beleaguered high streets, it’s now possible to transform an unused commercial building such as a former shop or café into a home without going through a lengthy planning application process first.

According to recent research from estate agents Keller Williams, the demise of the UK’s retail industry – speeded up by the pandemic – has left obsolete premises with the potential to provide nearly 25,000 homes to a market value of £7.4bn.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said the new rules, which were announced in the spring but came into force on August 1st, would help support the creation of ‘much-needed homes’ while also revitalising England’s ‘cherished high streets and town centres.’

He predicts the move will encourage more people to live near local high streets and as a result come to the area for work and leisure, boosting town centres ‘in their rightful place at the heart of communities’.

The new rules mean homes would get the green light through a simple ‘prior approval’ process. Although there will still be rules in place to ensure new properties offer adequate natural light and meet strict space regulations.

Unused commercial buildings must have been vacant for three months before the date an application is lodged for change of use, and the rules apply to buildings of 1,500 square metres of floorspace or less.

While the relaxation of planning laws means less red tape when it comes to converting a property, a prudent approach is still crucial to your commercial property conveyancing obligations, which is where Thames Water Property Searches can help.

Our technology also makes ordering easy, by suggesting searches relevant to each commercial property. We’ll offer a flood search if the property is in a flood-prone area, for example and can even offer company searches when involved in commercial property transactions.

Rest assured that for all your commercial property search needs Thames Water Property Searches have got you covered.

Find out more at Thames Water Property Searches


This article was submitted to be published by Thames Water Property Searches as part of their advertising agreement with Today’s Conveyancer. The views expressed in this article are those of the submitter and not those of Today’s Conveyancer.

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Thames Water Property Searches – Your full service provider

We are experienced national providers of due diligence searches and training to legal property professionals, protecting conveyancers and their clients with a comprehensive range of products and a proven dedication to quality customer service.

As an official provider of the CON29DW drainage and water enquiry, as well as being an NLIS channel license partner, we provide a wide range of land-based conveyancer and developer searches throughout England and Wales. Our reputation is built on the quality of our service and we pride ourselves on the excellent relationships we hold across the industry.

Our customers appreciate our professionalism and expertise, and we combine industry-leading technology with dedicated and enthusiastic people to deliver the best possible service. We believe passionately in putting our customers at the heart of everything that we do. With quick turnaround times, quality products and no hidden costs, our online service is just a click away.

So how can we benefit your business?

  • NLIS: We’re an NLIS channel partner offering you access to the National Land Information Service (NLIS) Hub, meaning we can deliver the fastest possible turnaround times on a range of searches, including those from Local Authorities.
  • Suppliers: Working closely with a range of market leading suppliers such as Argyll, Landmark, GroundSure and the Land Registry means we ensure you can access all the searches you need from one place, with many priced below RRP.
  • ISO 9001:2008: We recently retained the international quality management standard, so not only are we connecting you with all the right products, we also deliver them efficiently alongside a leading level of customer service.

A member of our team would be happy to discuss how we can assist you with your conveyancing search and training requirements.

Contact: Sue Stevens

Tel: 0800 009 4540

Email: [email protected]

PO Box 3189

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