Havering Council warning the Government to be cautious over relaxed planning rules

Havering Council is urging the Government to be cautious over proposals for new planning rules.

The council has joined others in voicing its fears over plans to relax planning rules for building extensions.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Michael White said: “We support the principal of cutting red tape and making home improvements easier but we are concerned that the current proposals could lead to a great deal of stress for residents in Havering - where people typically have small suburban gardens.”

Last month, MP Eric Pickeles, who is the Secretary of State for Communities set out proposals which would mean that residents would be able to double the size of extensions up to eight metres without seeking planning permission.

The council is concerned that this could deeply impact on the quality of life for people who neighbour these extensions.


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Under current rules, planning permission must be sought for any planned extension over 4 metres if a detached house and 3 metres for semis and terraced houses. Also the extension mustn’t cover more than 50 per cent of the original garden area.

Other councils including Richmond and Sutton have spoken out about the changes.

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Cllr White said: “Nobody wants to see neighbours at war over extensions so we would ask the Government to think again about how to reduce red tape while still protecting the integrity of our neighbourhoods”.

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