Relaxation Of The Planning Laws

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Planning laws and regulations have been relaxed in recent years thus encouraging the building of extensions and conservatories.

The idea is to temporarily remove planning permission requirements that are also expected to apply to lofts and garages.

The relaxation reflects the current reality of the housing market. Whilst the housing market appears healthy its state is somewhat artificial the cost of moving remains very high and many families are choosing to stay put and if possible extend their homes at a substantially lower costs than moving.

A consequence of this proposed development will be an increase in boundary and neighbour disputes. By getting rid of much of what is perceived to be red tape the government is disturbing a delicate balance within the social environment.

At the moment full planning permission (and therefore full consultation) is needed for any change to a home that extends more than three metres from the property’s back wall in the case of a terraced property with a need to fill in complicated applications that can take more than two months to be considered.

The move is expected to be in the form of a year long period allowing home owners to build up to 8 metres into their gardens without planning permission. The latest proposals will double the amount of space homeowners and businesses can build, but restrictions will still apply in conservation areas.

Businesses will be able to extend their shops by 100 sq m and industrial units by 200 sq m, and shops and offices will be permitted to develop up to the boundary of the premises.

However, the proposed relaxation in planning and building regulations do not mean you can ignore the Party Wall Act requirements when building.

It is essential that you are certain of the boundaries of your property and do not encroach when building upon your neighbour’s land as boundary disputes can easily arise. It is prudent for anyone thinking of expanding their property in this way to tread very carefully and if in doubt to consult a surveyor or a lawyer conversant with this area.

Quinn & Co have expertise in boundary disputes and Party Wall Act matters. Should you wish to discuss a matter relating to this area of the law please contact Joseph Quinn on 01392 248858


This article is provided free of charge for information purposes only; it does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such.


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