Deadline for Planning Consultation Looms

Opponents say proposals could lead to rash of 'ugly extensions'

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Residents' Groups and Councillors are urging local people to respond to an ongoing consultation about new planning rules which they feel could lead to a rash of 'ugly extensions' if the proposed changes go ahead. The deadline for responses is 24th December.

The Government plans to allow increased development rights for extensions to homes and businesses in non-protected areas.

The Government is consulting on increasing the size limits for the depth of single-storey domestic extensions from 4m to 8m (for detached houses) and from 3m to 6m (for all other houses), in non-protected areas for a period of three years.

David Harvey, a member of the North Greenford Residents Association, has been contacting other residents' associations in West London urging them to object to the changing. He says, "If you want to see Ealing maintain its somewhat diminished reputation as 'The Queen of the Suburbs' and not be converted into an out of town ghetto please reply to the consultation with NO NO NO."

The leader of the Conservative Party on Hounslow Council, Cllr Peter Thompson, has written to the Communities Minister Eric Pickles to express concern over the new proposals, with the backing of Labour councillors.

The letter states; “At a meeting of our The Council last week a motion was put forward opposing and asking the Government to review its proposals “to extend permitted development rights for homeowners and businesses” which as you know, will particularly allow homeowners to make larger extensions to their homes without requiring planning permission.

“Both Labour and the Conservative Groups unanimously supported the motion because, like Richmond Council, we wish to safeguard the quality of the built environment in our local area and believe that a rash of ugly extensions will crop up as a result, giving local residents no opportunity whatsoever to have their say.

Cllr Peter Thompson, who moved the motion at the meeting, has said while he agrees with the Government that stimulating the construction industry is essential to economic recovery, this proposal is not the answer.

“Councils approve almost 90 per cent of householder planning applications. The approval rate is so high because the planning process works to ensure development is suitable for a local area and doesn't unduly impact neighbours.   Loosening rules around extensions would get rid of this vital mediation process in a large number of cases."

December 19, 2012