Voice Your Opinion On "Planning Holiday"

Council calls on government to rethink 3 year period of building without planning permission

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Council Concerned Over "Planning Holiday"

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Wandsworth Council is calling on the Government to step back from plans to double the size of house extensions people can build without planning permission for a three year period.

The Department for Communities and Local Government has now launched a consultation on the proposals which have sparked new concerns from councillors and borough residents.

Residents can view the consultation documents and provide feedback online.

Under the new system, terrace and semi-detached houses would be allowed single storey extensions of up to six metres in depth. Detached houses would be allowed up to eight metres.

The existing 'permitted development' rules limit extensions at three and four metres respectively. Any larger and planning permission is required.

‘Protected areas’, including conservation areas, would not be affected by the changes.

The consultation also asks for feedback on the following proposals:

“Increasing the size limits for the depth of single-storey domestic extensions from 4m to 8m (for detached houses) and from 3m to 6m (for all other houses), in non-protected areas, for a period of three years. No changes are proposed for extensions of more than one storey.

“Increasing the size limits for extensions to shop and professional/financial services establishments to 100m2, and allowing the building of these extensions up to the boundary of the property (except where the boundary is with a residential property), in non-protected areas, for a period of three years.

“Increasing the size limits for extensions to offices to 100m2, in non-protected areas, for a period of three years.

“Increasing the size limits for new industrial buildings within the curtilage of existing industrial premises to 200m2, in non-protected areas, for a period of three years.

“Removing some prior approval requirements for the installation of broadband infrastructure for a period of five years.”

Leader of Wandsworth Council Ravi Govindia said:"In many cases a six to eight metre home extension would have a serious impact on neighbouring properties and should not be permitted. We’re also concerned that loosening planning rules on offices, garages, shops and industrial units could result in unsightly developments which seriously blight adjacent buildings.

“It is unclear how much of a boost the economy will get from these proposals but it is bound to come at a high price. Our fear is that the legacy of scared streets and neighbour disputes will outweigh any benefits.

“This council has a responsive, efficient planning service which acts as a barrier to poor quality development. It serves a very important purpose and we do not want to see its influence diminished. Under the Coalition great progress has been made in cutting red tape and creating a more dynamic, locally controlled planning system. Our fear is that this initiative will do more harm than good.”

November 23, 2012