In a previous post on this subject, I had mentioned that the watered down planning laws Eric Pickles has tried to bring to Parliament might include a reduction of the originally proposed plans to allow detached properties 8m extensions and all other dwellings 6m. It appears from the latest reports that these 8m and 6m maximum sizes ARE to remain. I did think that Mr Pickles might reduce them in an effort to appease those opposing the changes. However it seems this is not the case.

In new plans ready to be put to the House of Lords as an amendment to the Growth and Infrastructure Bill on Monday, Erick Pickles has explained that the new changes will mean councils will have to notify neighbours if a resident plans to go ahead with plans for an extension. It gives neighbours the chance then to lodge a complaint if they’re unhappy with the proposed works next door. As councils will know all jobs set to go live, it will also give them chance to pull jobs up if they believe it needs to go through the traditional channels of planning permission.

So, it appears then that the 8m for a detached property and 6m for all others looks set to stand. Of course there will still remain the rule that the new structure shouldn’t take up over half the garden area.

The relaxed laws are due to be in place for three years, with the aim of boosting homeowner spending and the overall construction and home improvement sectors. Though if relaxing the laws does prove to be successful then I can see it being extended beyond the initial three year period.

Our industry, whilst at first jumping for joy at such news, soon realised that by relaxing the planning laws as far as this, there stood a very high chance that there would be a lot of new neighbourly disputes caused by massive new projects. The revised plans to include councils automatically and have them inform neighbours of the intended projects means that any dispute can be rectified well before any bricks are allowed to be laid.

Planning laws are something every homeowner seems to be acutely aware of, hopefully if these relaxed laws are signed into law, they will be well publicised so that the consumer and the home improvement industry can make the most of them for the three years they are due to run for.

The amendments are due to be debated at the House Of Lords on Monday. All being well, it won’t take that long and we can get some form of confirmation this coming week.

UPDATE: industry professionals Finesse Windows have written their own take on the whole Planning Permission issue, and you can find it here: