Government planning proposals for home owners – April 2013

So the Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles has stressed that the planning system should work proactively to support economic growth and he is concerned that various aspects of the planning system are burdened by “unnecessary bureaucracy that can hinder sustainable growth.”

Embarrassingly, the Government has been forced to rethink proposals to allow homeowners to build extensions of up to 8m in their back gardens without seeking planning consent after a backbench revolt that almost saw it defeated outright on the issue. The recent embarrassing U-turn throws into disarray the Government’s ‘planning free-for-all’ which is aimed at boosting the building trade.

Under a revised scheme, homeowners wishing to build extensions under the new powers would notify their council with the details and the local authority would then inform the adjoining neighbours. If the neighbours do not object the development can proceed, but if they do raise concerns the council will have to consider whether it had an “unacceptable impact on neighbours’ amenity”.

In my opinion we need respect for property rights. No one should gain planning permission if it affects an adjacent property. We need to reinstate laws to protect people’s homes rather than this attempt to boost the economy in the short-term. I await Mr Pickles next proposals.



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