Under new government plans, millions of people will be able to extend their garages, offices and industrial buildings without asking for council permission, reports Christopher Hope the Telegraph today.
The changes are on top of an existing scheme to allow home owners to double the size of permissible developments.
Some garages can already be extended without permission, although many councils impose restrictions on their development. A consultation published by the planning minister Nick Boles disclosed that ministers were “keen to explore whether more could be done”.
The same consultation also looks at giving shops and professional services firms “in non-protected areas” the right to add 100 square metres of extra floor space – twice the current limit of 50 square metres – without asking permission.
Similarly, the size of industrial buildings which can be built next to large structures is to be increased from 100 square metres to 200 square metres. Ministers are proposing loosening the rules for a three-year period. The consultation runs until December 24th.
The Government said the relaxation of rules would not apply in national parks, areas of outstanding natural beauty, conservation areas, world heritage sites and the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads.
Councils are alarmed by the changes. The Daily Telegraph disclosed that Conservative-run Wandsworth council in south-west London is the latest borough to oppose them and a spokesperson said he was “worried that removing controls, particularly in residential areas, would increase disputes.”
He said: “In many cases a six to eight metre home extension would have a serious impact on neighbouring properties and should not be permitted. We’re also concerned that loosening planning rules on offices, shops and industrial units could result in unsightly developments which seriously blight adjacent buildings.”
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