Jamie Hailstone 12 October 2012

Councils call for planning reforms to be scrapped

Town hall bosses have called on the Government to scrap plans to reform the planning system after warning they could lead to ‘unsightly’ and ‘out of place developments’.

The Local Government Association (LGA) said proposals to increase permitted development rights for extensions to homes could result in inappropriate buildings, which could increase friction between neighbours.

‘This policy potentially gives the green light to unsightly and out-of-place developments, without delivering a big enough boost to the construction industry to justify the potential damage,’ said the chairman of the LGA’s environment and housing board, Cllr Mike Jones.

‘The 22,000 applications which are rejected each year are knocked back for good reasons and it would be totally wrong if extensions which were previously rejected due to objections from neighbours or because they were judged to blight the neighbourhood could now sneak back in unimpeded.

‘We agree with the Government that stimulating the construction industry is essential to economic recovery, but this proposal is not the answer.

‘We need to tackle the housing crisis and that means freeing up lending so first time buyers can secure mortgages and developers can borrow to build.

‘The Government should also lift tight restrictions on local authority borrowing, so councils and housing associations can raise money to invest in new homes.’

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