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London borough warns against planning changes

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Published by 24publishing for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Communities, Local Government

London borough warns against planning changes London borough warns against planning changes

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.

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 increasing the size limits for extensions to shop and professional/financial services establishments and 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.”

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