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Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Government’s proposal for a three-year relaxation of planning rules on extending homes

As Chair of the Seven Kings & Newbury Park Resident's Association I have sent the following letter to our local MPs (Mike Gapes and Lee Scott) today:

I write to voice the significant concerns held by members of the Seven Kings & Newbury Park Resident’s Association at the Government’s proposal for a three-year relaxation of planning rules on extending homes and business premises.

Current planning regulations are currently circumvented on a regular basis by unscrupulous home and business owners determined to extend their properties without regard to neighbours legitimate concerns about issues such as light and noise levels, being overlooked, party walls, impact of building works on the sustainability of neighbouring properties etc. Often such extensions are then used to house additional people at the property, sometimes on an unauthorised rental basis, and generally in inadequate facilities. Current planning regulations are generally circumvented by retrospective planning applications which, from our perspective seem generally to be allowed, masking the problem as a national issue.

We think that this proposal will therefore be a disaster for local communities because it will allow such unscrupulous home and business owners to build what they like where they like without regard for the legitimate concerns of those in neighbouring properties. We view this prospect and the resulting breakdown in neighbourhood relations with real fear and trepidation. We note that the head of planning at Redbridge Council has already joined fellow Liberal Democrat councillors to condemn the proposed relaxation of planning regulations. We support their stance and that of other local Associations such as the Aldborough Hatch Defence Association in opposing this proposal which, while intending to stimulate growth, will divide communities and set neighbour against neighbour.

We ask you to convey our concerns to the Minister responsible for the consideration of this proposal and call on you to support local residents in opposing this divisive and unnecessary proposal.


The Style Council - Come To Milton Keynes.

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