ARGUS COMMENT: More residents good for city centre

First published in News

NEWPORT City Council is poised to consult on proposals to remove a planning regulation which is seen as potentially stifling some city centre re-development.

As with all residential planning applications, those to convert city centre buildings for residential use, are covered by the need for any developer to sign a Section 106 agreement.

In most cases this means the developer contributing towards education or leisure services.

Now the council, as part of its strategy to bring redundant commercial city centre buildings back to life, is seeking to exempt certain developments from such agreements.

The hope is that by removing this condition, developers will be more likely to take forward plans to transform empty commercial buildings into flats.

We have long argued that Newport would benefit from having more people living and working right in the heart of the city centre.

And the conversion of redundant commercial buildings for residential use seems to us to make good sense. So, while there may be some concerns about loss of Section 106 funding, we feel that it is a good move.

While we would not normally agree that developers should not have to pay a contribution towards leisure and education, the controlled moratorium being suggested seems to be the right move at the right time.

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