Well, despite the great fanfare from the Goverment last month about their new plans to relax planning laws to almost nothing to try to boost the country’s flagging economy, it looks like the plans look set to fail even before MP’s get a chance to vote on it.
Since the idea was announced in September, a post about which you can find here, the main concern has been that it could create a free for all in the market place and cause neighborly disputes up and down the country, giving councils a headache. Well this concern has now gained traction with a growing number of councils who have said they would rebel against the plans and vote against the changes.
There is currently an all-party rebellion spreading through a lot of the councils all over the country, with Lib Dems, Labour and Conservative led councils all saying that they will not relax the laws in their council for fear of creating hundreds of disputes in their neighborhoods. You can understand why.
The idea seemed good at first, but thoughts quickly turned to neighborly relations. How would you feel if you suddenly became boxed in on either side by two 7m long extensions blocking out your view, sunlight and removing your privacy? Probably not best please unless you’re an exhibitionist!
The Local Government Chronicle has a report here: http://www.lgcplus.com/topics/planning/home-extension-rebellion-grows/5050069.article?blocktitle=Latest-Local-Government-News&contentID=2249
To be honest, I was a fan of these plans at first. But when you think about the longer term effects it would have, there are just too many disputes and too many potential problems it could create further down the line. So I guess the Government is going to have to resort to the tried and tested method of investment directly into the construction sector and get building homes for the 20-something generation that is still living at home!
As I have said before – this was the most stupid, ill thought-through idea for a long time. Only an idiot would think it would do anything tangible to boost the building economy (which has to benefit the overall economy as a domino effect if it’s going to be worth the pain). The big construction companies won’t benefit. A very few small builders might benefit from sensible home owners who want to improve their homes – but for the most part it’ll be the immigrant builders, plumbers, tilers, electricians etc who will flood the country with extensions (that make neighbours… Read more »
of course there is the problem of all those building control knobs who work for the council who would lose there jobs as well
Although slacker planning laws would be beneficial when constructing conservatories in such areas as Yorkshire and Lincolnshire due to the obtuse stance of most planning authorities, I did not agree with the proposed changes. I agree with Greg when he says that it is the most stupid idea for a long time! Surely there is a middle ground…
I think that the existing permitted development regulations should be increased by say 20-30%; this would kick start construction of conservatories and extensions that have been slightly too big.
AWM – if the councils weren’t as difficult to deal with and streamlined their planning departments so we wouldn’t have to wait 8-12 weeks just for a yes or a no, then I think this would help a great deal too! Most conservatories should really come under permitted development, unless they are next to or over some major waterworks underneath or in a conservation area for example.
Thanks for your comment!