Permitted development rights allow householders and businesses to undertake works without needing a grant of planning permission from their local Council. The Government has widened these rights over the years, and they have recently announced intentions to widen these again: ideas include larger and taller rear extensions, removing limits on roof extensions, and increasing the ability for more outbuildings in gardens.
The lack of housing supply can be important in determining whether an appeal is successful: if there is a shortfall, there is a presumption in favour of sustainable development. A potential housing site that had been considered for development for many years in Surrey finally got the approval at appeal, partly on the basis of the need for housing.
Good design is sought by planning policy, which partly led to a dismissed appeal in Kent on the grounds of 'generic' design in an AONB. But that decision is now being challenged in the Courts by Berkeley Homes
Targets for housebuilding have always been set by Government, with local authorities then making allocations in their local plans. But a rebellion is gathering pace to stop this approach, with Conservative MPs saying local authorities should have the say in how much housing.
The Daily Telegraph report on what they call the 'glacial pace' of the planning system, and that approvals for constuction have halved in some parts of the country. This, they say, will lead to a 5% slump in housebuilding.
A recent survey by the Home Builders Federation has shown the number of builders reporting problems with the supply and cost of materials had jumped from 20 per cent a year ago to 78 per cent. Nine out of ten builders also say a lack of resources in planning departments are causing delays.
The Queen's Speech will be announcing the Government's new Planning Bill. Whilst some of the media reports might be speculating too much on a free for all, undoubtedly there will be new measures that seek to simplify planning and increase house building in areas across the country. Public participation will remain in planning, but residents need to be well-informed in order to get their voice heard.
The Government has announced further changes to permitted development rights. Shops can now change to housing, subject to prior approval from the Council. There are limited controls over what shops can change, with only those in conservation areas being subject to tests. There is a floorspace limit though
Securing planning permission for a house in the countryside is very difficult. One route can be through 'paragraph 79' of the National Planning Policy Framework, which allows houses in the countryside if they are of exceptional quality. But they are difficult; only two houses on this basis have been allowed at appeal in the last 10 years. So if you're thinking of this route you'll need the highest quality design, and the best case put at appeal.
We have a new video on YouTube - a quick guide to show you how to find out if your land or property is at risk from flooding. This is an important matter to consider if you're thinking of extending your property or building on a plot of land. You may need a flood risk assessment to show that you can build. Or the development you want to undertake might be ruled out by the risk of the flooding. Find out before you make what could be a costly mistake.
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