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Relaxation of planning rules could lift local building trade

Consultation is to take place shortly on changes to increase existing permitted development rights for extensions to homes and business premises in non-protected areas for a three-year period that could mean less municipal red tape to build a conservatory and similar small-scale home improvements, and free up valuable resources in local authorities.

For this limited period, people will be able to build larger extensions to the rear of their houses – up to eight metres long for detached homes and six metres for others.

Jennifer Hadland of Smiths Gore’s planning team based in the firm’s Darlington office, said: "While this is a positive step in planning and will help to get Britain building again, especially in respect of the smaller local builders, we do have concerns over what the impact of doubling permitted development rights will be on neighbours’ amenities.

"There will inevitably be a greater number of neighbour vs neighbour disputes that will need settling, with the decision making process simply shifting from the local authority to the Courts as these planning rules are relaxed. It will be for Government to decide how this area is to be addressed.

"In addition, although the extension of permitted development rights will mean that some further developments would not require planning permission, it would not remove the need to secure approval under the Building Regulations. It will be interesting to see the detail of what comes out in the General Permitted Development Order."

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