Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Assets of Community Value, Pubs, High Streets and Takeaways

One of the results of nominating the Better Barkingside project for the Civic Voice Design Awards 2015 is that I now get the Civic Voice newsletter, and very interesting it is too. This >
The latest changes to permitted development rights came into force this week. One of the changes now states that pubs that are listed as Assets of Community Value (England only) now require planning permission to be demolished or changed to any other use. In effect existing permitted development rights will be removed for pubs listed as ACVs for as long as the pub is on the local authorities Assets of Community Value list. This is another success in the civic movement's campaign to see even more community buildings across the country listed as ACVs. We would urge you all to now start nominating your pubs as ACVs to give them more local protection.
So, I’ve had a look at Redbridge-i and there are only two successful ACVs listed and two unsuccessful nominations. It doesn’t seem to have caught on yet, but now you know you can all start nominating your local pub. Guess what’s on the agenda for the next Barkingside 21 committee meeting?

Local Authorities should have more control over High Streets
The state of the UK's high streets has been the cause of much discussion and several reports in recent years. Many places have created their own strategies for regeneration of their town centres but stronger measures are needed to help town and city centres survive and thrive.
It was pleasing that the Guardian newspaper highlighted this issue in the week and said that local authorities should be given greater power to manage their high streets. [Paywall].
Ian Harvey, Civic Voice Executive Director said "Civic Voice believes that we should be giving local communities the powers they need to enable their town and city centres to prosper and is calling for greater powers to enable local authorities to control use classes and permitted development rights. We are pleased the Guardian is shining light on this issue".
Well, I’m not too sure about this. Neither the previous nor the present Redbridge administration has shown any sign that they are willing to understand the problem and tackle the root cause. They listen to those who shout loudest, the traders and the motorist, and completely ignore the most important element in the equation – the shopper. How many times do I have to write this here on the blog – all the evidence and research shows that those who arrive on the High Street by foot or public transport SPEND MORE MONEY. We have to get rid of the car and parking on Barkingside High Street if we want it to thrive and prosper. There is a perfectly adequate car park in Craven Gardens. Look, those who have cars spend their money in the supermarket – period. Try catching the 169 at The Glade at 9am on a weekday morning. By the time it’s got to the roundabout its full of people with shopping bags and they get off outside the swimming pool.
The Rise of the Takeaway
The number of takeaway food outlets has risen substantially over the past two decades, with a large increase seen in areas of socioeconomic disadvantage, according to a study carried out across Norfolk by researchers at the University of Cambridge. The growing concentration of takeaway outlets in poorer areas might be reinforcing inequalities in diet and obesity, with unhealthy neighbourhoods making it more difficult to make healthy food choices.
In a study published this week in the journal Health & Place, researchers from the Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR), at the University of Cambridge, analysed the change in density of takeaway food outlets across Norfolk between 1990 and 2008 and how this related to levels of neighbourhood socioeconomic deprivation.
The findings suggest that it might be time for local authorities to think hard about restrictions on the number and location of outlets in a given area, particularly deprived areas. This is something we want to see more about and is why in our manifesto we are calling for local authorities to control use classes and permitted development rights to meet local need.
This is related to the item above. Who wants parking on the High Street the most? The takeaways and their motorist customers. Takeaway the parking and you takeaway the takeaway. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

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