New Planning Permission Rules Cause Controversy

The government has announced its intention to relax regulations concerning the building of conservatories and loft extensions. Homeowners will now be able to add these home improvements without the long wait for planning permission. In the past, any structure which protruded 4 metres from the rear wall required planning permission, this has now been adjusted to 8 metres. Chairman of the Local Government Association [LGA], Sir Merrick Cockell, welcomes the change, asserting that it will send out the message that local authorities embrace development. Furthermore according to the LGA, the lack of new homes being built is more about financing than planning permission.

While news of the new regulations has been received happily in some quarters, some critics have reservations, and worry that it will impact on the introduction of the long awaited Green Deal.

James Croucher of DLP Consulting stated that “The existence of the Green Deal meant ‘consequential improvements’ could be introduced without triggering direct up-front costs to homeowners. Overall, quite a clever package. Together the two had the potential to be a genuinely game-changing move to make energy efficiency happen. However, the current government’s over reaction to the press reaction potentially leaves the Green Deal in tatters.”

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