Diary of a Sutton Councillor

Government’s recent planning announcements

The recent proposals to relax certain planning regulations are a cause for serious concern, and could have negative repercussions in Sutton.

The proposals include temporarily extending permitted development rights to allow bigger house extensions, and for businesses and commercial premises to extend by up to 200 square metres without needing planning permission. This means that neighbours and affected residents will not have any opportunity to object to these extensions, and the council will have no powers to prevent building work even though it significantly impacts on neighbours’ light or amenity.

We are also disappointed at proposals to relax the requirement for developers to provide affordable housing through their s106 obligations. Developers have always complained that these obligations reduce their profit margins, but we desperately need affordable homes as private housing becomes further out of reach of average working households. The Lib Dem promise of direct funding of £300m for affordable homes is a welcome mitigation of this measure.

If homeowners wish to build extensions beyond normal permitted development rights the process to obtain planning permission is not onerous or expensive and is usually completed within 8 weeks.

It is a myth that Local Government planning departments are anti growth and development and our Opportunity Sutton approach to encourage and support sustainable development in the borough highlights this.

We feel that the proposals go against the Localism agenda by undermining the powers and understanding of local councils and local people to determine what is appropriate for their neighbourhood.

An Emergency Motion has been proposed at the Lib Dem Conference calling for the withdrawal of these proposals. I would ask members attending Conference to vote for this motion to be debated and to support the motion.

As noted the announcements are currently proposals that are out for consultation. I have asked our Planning Department to prepare a robust response to the consultation.

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September 20, 2012 - Posted by | Information, Opinion | ,

1 Comment »

  1. Typical Council bullshit.
    “No you cant do that!.” “No you cant do that!.” “No you cant do that!.” is all I heard from the council.
    Thank GOD for permitted Development !
    M.

    Comment by M | September 20, 2012 | Reply


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