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Council criticises new changes to planning law

However, people will still be able to raise objections in relation to the original applications.

In addition, homeowners who are refused permission to make changes will also need to lodge appeals in 12 weeks, rather than the six months – except for listed buildings.

John Walker, Westminster City Council’s head of development planning services, said: "Although we are all for cutting bureacracy and making the planning process easier, we are concerned that doing this at the expense of basic rights of homeowners to challenge proposals reduces the ability of local groups to actively voice their opinions.

"Also, the rules will be much stricter, which means anyone who has objected will not be allowed to make further representations once the appeal has been submitted.

"As a result we will have to rely on published reports written when the application was originally considered because we will not be allowed to provide further statements at the appeal stage."

The new system is only applicable for alterations to houses (not flats) and the appeals will now be considered under a new simplified electronic process where no additional information from the local authority or neighbours will be taken into account.

Householders will have just 12 weeks to make an appeal against any refusal of planning permission or imposed planning conditions, rather than the current six months.

However the Government has decided the six-month period will remain for appeals that concern listed building applications for alterations to houses.

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