By Sophie Tanno For Mailonline
Published: 14:39 BST, 6 September 2020 | Updated: 14:40 BST, 6 September 2020
Developers are exploiting planning laws to convert empty shops, banks and barbers into tiny high street flats.
The new developments have sparked concerns that UK high streets are turning into modern slums.
The impact of the coronavirus on high-street businesses have resulted in a rush to transform them into residences under permitted development rights (PDRs).
Chloe Gray, a 20-year-old resident of one of the flats, said it felt like 'living in a pod'. Converted flats on Shirley Road pictured above
PDRs were until recently mainly used to convert office spaces but are now being used to transform former businesses into small flats.
Since 2013, they have allowed developers to skip the requirement to apply for planning permission when turning office blocks into flats.
They were extended to shops and launderettes in 2016, before also including fast food outlets last year.
PDR flats are not bound by the minimum