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The Guardian: "Can turning shops into homes help councils save the high street?"

Link to web site

"This government is not known for eureka moments, but Nick Boles's announcement that it's time to turn empty shops into homes was as good as it gets. After three years of farcical high street policy that has generated many column inches but delivered little of substance, this represented a major shift in thinking.

"Ministers are finally starting to recognise we simply have too much retail space in Britain. There are more than 40,000 empty shops blighting our high streets, and it's no use clinging to a sentimental vision of the past. We've been keeping moribund high streets on a life support machine for years, and it's time we faced up to reality.

"Our high streets are being overwhelmed by structural change. Online shopping has grown by 222% in the past five years while year on year bricks-and-mortar growth remains flat. Consumer behaviour is rapidly changing, and some high streets are never going to survive on a retail-only model."

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