What are valid objections to planning permission in the UK?

by emmadigirank on December 17, 2012

  • Sumo

There has been a significant proposal change to planning laws recently, with David Cameron announcing a year-long extension allowance for homeowners. The change means homeowners can extend their property up to eight metres in their gardens without securing planning permission from their local council. This proposal by the government will allow double the amount of space homeowners and businesses can build on. The temporary removal of planning laws may also apply to lofts and garages. However, planning restrictions will still apply in conservation areas.

The government believes that by allowing shops and offices to expand their businesses; the developments will have a positive impact on our economy.

If plans are approved, shops will be able to expand their premise by 100 square metres and industrial units by 200 square metres.

Needless to say, the desperate act by the coalition to achieve growth is rather controversial and ministers who support this proposal have been blasted as ‘kidding themselves.’

Plans to relax planning laws have also been predicted to lead to more affordable homes. Ministers predict that there will be an additional funding of £300m which will provide up to 15,000 affordable homes and bring 5,000 empty homes back in use.

What does this mean for valid objections to planning permission?

The relaxation of planning laws has not been approved. Therefore, current planning laws still apply. Currently planning permission is needed for homeowners who wish to extend their properties more than three metres from their property’s rear wall.

As it stands the following objections should be accepted by your local council:

  • If the development will cause a visual impact
  • If the development has an overbearing effect on neighbouring properties
  • If the development will decrease your neighbours’ privacy
  • If the development has an effect on sunlight and daylight
  • If the development will effect conservation areas and the natural environment
  • If the development will create significant noise pollution
  • If the development will disturb the character of the area, plus design, appearance and layout
  • If the development will effect highway safety and traffic
  • If the development ignores government guidance and legislation, plus all planning policies

Objections which are usually rejected may include the following:

  • Objecting a development purely for competitive purposes
  • If the developer has private property rights
  • If the development is covered by other laws, for example Healthy and Safety Regulations
  • If the development will cause devaluation to your own property

There is no set date for the relaxation of planning laws, therefore full planning permission for any development which extends more than three metres from the property’s rear wall must be secured.

If you believe your neighbour is breaching current planning laws, at the earliest opportunity you must raise your concerns with the developer. If you are dissatisfied with the developer’s co-operation, you will need to create a planning objection.

Individuals have a limited time of 21 days to object a planning proposal. The time limit for letters of representation starts from:

  • The date of a press advert in the local media
  • The date of a planning application site notice
  • The date of an individual neighbour notification letter as recorded on the application file and computer system.

For help on how to create a valid planning application objection, contact Kingsley Smith Solicitors for professional legal advice.

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