Proposed planning relaxation

Fabian Hamilton has joined with an increasing number of others expressing his worries concerning the government-proposed relaxation in planning rules for home extensions.

At the beginning of September this year, the government announced a proposed three-year-long relaxation on some planning rules. In particular it is looking to relax the restrictions on the size of home extensions that can be undertaken without planning permission. At the present time it is permitted to add a house extension into a rear garden of 3m width for a semi-detached property and 4m width for a detached house.

Planning laws allow the community to exercise a control on building development to ensure that the built environment changes in ways that are acceptable, that the environment for neighbours is not degraded and also that there is bo unbridled extension into the countryside. In a move for which it claimed that will boost the economy, the proposal envisages that these sizes double and be subject ony to the requirement that no more than 50% of a garden may be used.

Fabian said today,

"I do not think many people realise the scale of the changes. It sounds simple to double the size of the existing limitations but just pause to consider what an extension of up to 8m for a detached house might mean. 8 metres is about 25 feet and this can mean that the extension might become a collossal intrusion into a garden especially in those houses with small gardens. It is easy to forget how much greenery in a neighbours' gardens contributes to the general pleasant ambiance of being out of doors in ones own home."

The proposed change to planning rules are highlighted on a BBC web site page - Click here

The scale of these possible extensions is well illustrated on the BBC web page.

Fabian has received expression of concerns from constituents worried about what the changes might mean. This is commitment has he has made in response.

"I and the Labour Party are strongly opposed to this ill-conceived destruction of our planning rules. The planning system is already biased in favour of the developer and leaves objectors with precious little to defend their rights, except the Planning Authority. I have a number of Conservative colleagues who also object to this proposal and I know that there are many Conservative local authorities who are also deeply unhappy about it.

I'm afraid, however, that unless there is a substantial rebellion by Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs, the measure will be agreed and your fears will be realised. I and the Parliamentary Labour Party will do all we can to fight this, but as we don't have a majority in the Commons it's unlikely we will succeed. It is a depressing situation but I will not give up the fight on my constituents' behalf. "

Fabian asks that if you object to these proposals, please would you record your objections by completing his planning survey - Click here.

The more responses that he has to his survey, the greater will be the authority and validity of his arguments with other MPs who might be willing persuaded to rebel on this proposal when it is discussed.