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CLG committee unimpressed with Government's plans to relax extension rules

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CLG committee unimpressed with Government's plans to relax extension rules

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Development, Regulation

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The Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) Committee has criticised the Government's intention to double the exemption from planning permission for extensions to certain kinds of housing.

The CLG's report says that the Government’s plans are based on "an inadequate impact assessment".

Under the Government proposals, the size limits for the depth of single-storey extensions for detached houses would increase from four metres to eight metres, and from three metres to six metres for all other houses in non-protected areas, for a three-year period.

The Committee believes that the Government's reasons for making the changes are unconvincing and has asked it to reconsider. It also has concerns that the relaxation in the planning rules would not be temporary.

The MPs' report says that the proposals fail to factor in social and environmental effects, ignoring two requirements of the sustainable development policy set out in the National Policy Planning Framework.

CLG Committee chair, Clive Betts, said: "First, the Government has produced very little hard evidence, and its impact assessment was not credible. Second, it has ignored two of the essential requirements of its own policy on sustainable development as set out in its own National Planning Policy Framework – to take account of the environmental and social effects, as well as the economic.

"The effects of this temporary relaxation of the planning rules will be new development which will have a permanent effect on neighbours and localities. I am uneasy that the proposed change will therefore be temporary in any manner. If a change to the planning rules is justified, it should be permanent. If it is not justified, it should not be made. The Government needs to go back to the drawing board."

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