Planning free for all
Friday 7 September 2012
A leading Coventry Councillor has criticised government proposals which could see planning rules relaxed.
Councillor Kevin Maton, Coventry City Council's Chair of Planning Committee was speaking after proposals to more than double the size of domestic and business extensions before full planning permission is needed were revealed today.
The proposal being suggested would mean that people could extend at the rear of their property by up to 8 metres. The current rules only generally allow extensions without permission up to 3 or 4 metres in certain cases. The idea behind the move, which is set to be introduced for 12 months, is to cut the red tape and enable people, who cant afford to move, to extend their homes more quickly and easily.
Cllr Kevin Maton feels the move is not the answer for homeowners, their neighbours or the wider local community.
He said: "This plan is completely flawed. It is playing around the edges of the real issue which is the need for new homes here in Coventry and across the country. I don't think there will be any winners in this - the main problem here is not the planning system but the lack of investment and the lack of affordable housing.
"Allowing people to extend their homes by up to eight metres might sound like a good idea but it might not be so good if you live next door to someone who does it and you lose all the natural light into your home. Of course, it would also mean that anyone could build anything. There would be no control over appropriate materials or how the extension looks or how well it fits into the surrounding environment.
"Planning rules are in place to protect the applicant and the near neighbours - and this free for all will I am sure lead to more neighbour disputes and inappropriate development. At the moment if someone strays from their planning approval or attempts to build without approval we can take action. Under these proposals anyone will be able to build anything and we won't be able to do a thing about it."