§ Mr. David Atkinson
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans he has to amend the change of use regulations to enable planning permission to be required to convert hotels and guest houses to hostels for social security claimants; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Baldry
There are no immediate plans to amend the Use Classes Order 1987, although its operation is kept under periodic review. Our general approach towards change of use of land and buildings is to conserve a balance between the need to protect neighbourhoods from loss of amenity and the need for property owners to have reasonable freedom to adapt to changing market conditions.