A Government move to make it easier to turn hotels into houses would be a boost during tough economic times, according to a Midlands estate agent.
Graham Carter, a director of CPBigwood, said it offered extra flexibility and choice in towns like Stratford-upon-Avon
His comments follow the launch by the Department for Communities and Local Government of a consultation on the matter.
He said: “If approved, it would allow the change of use of hotels and guest houses into houses without the need, as at present, to obtain planning permission”
“While there is still good demand for hotel , guest house and bed and breakfast accommodation in the town, the completion of several budget hotels in recent years, coupled with the shift in the requirements of visitors to Stratford has put pressure on the traditional establishments in these difficult economic times.
“So I think the proposal is a good idea - it gives owners options.
“The time and cost involved in seeking planning permission will be dispensed with and, given the national shortage of homes, any innovative ways of providing more need to be given serious consideration”
“Not just owners, but developers too will be looking at this idea carefully. It could allow new life to be breathed into old properties,” he said.
The consultation, which also proposes that planning permission would not be needed for conversion of agricultural buildings into offices, craft workshops etc, and thereby help promote the rural economy, runs until September 11.