Basic home improvements may be freed from planning process

Posted: 06 Dec 2006 11:04:11 GMT


            Property News - Basic home improvements may be freed from planning process

Changes to planning rules that will allow homeowners to avoid the need for planning permission if neighbours approve of their home improvement have been proposed

Changes to planning rules that will allow homeowners to avoid the need for planning permission if neighbours approve of their home improvement have been proposed.

The suggestion is the most immediately relevant idea to emerge from the major Barker review of planning restrictions and housing supply.

It recommends that home improvements such as loft conversions, conservatories and extensions should not require planning approval if neighbours give their blessing.

More controversially, the review has also proposed easing greenbelt rules to allow more development on the fringes of cities on previously protected land.

Critics of the greenbelt say that the rules, which are designed to prevent urban sprawl, often protect land with little environmental or social value.

Supporters say that the change would hand a licence to business to pave over the countryside however, and increase urban decay by favouring out-of-town developments.

Most of the report focused on major planning issues such as the need to reduce the bureaucracy involved in gaining permission for airports and nuclear power stations, however.

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