Opinion

An end to planning permissions as we know them?

4th November 2019

An end to planning permissions as we know them?

The Government has outlined proposals to amend existing planning laws to allow homeowners to build up two storeys on their property under permitted development rights, meaning that no planning permission is needed.

Permitted development rights currently allow homeowners to carry out small extensions or loft conversions without planning permission but the Government is keen to extend the scheme. Although homeowners will still need to comply with building regulations, neighbours would no longer have the right to object to a two-storey extension. 

Without the chance to object to a planning application, unhappy neighbours will need to take legal advice about whether there are any other ways in which they could hinder a proposed development. 

This may be good news for lawyers, but anything that destabilises good relations between neighbours and leads to conflict and dispute cannot be a good thing. And it is difficult to see how this proposal aligns with the Government and Ministry of Justice apparent desire to minimise the number of boundary disputes that end up in court.

Even under the current planning regime, issues regularly arise between neighbours where works are being done close or on a boundary line and residents often ignore the Party Wall Act 1996, so the situation is bound to get even worse if homeowners are able to build without consent.

 

 

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