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Friday25 July 2014

New planning rules scrap applications for minor extensions

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The government has taken its first step towards adopting the recommendations from the Killian Pretty report by announcing a series of changes in the planning process.

The communities department announced yesterday (Thursday) that it would scrap planning applications for minor alterations and extensions, in a move it said could save businesses £20 million a year.

Under the new rules, shops and offices will be able to extend their premises by 50sq m, hospitals and universities by 100sq m and schools by 50sq m without planning permission.

Current permitted development rights will also be supplemented by the right to build one freestanding building of up to 100sq m per existing building.

“We want to make it easier for businesses in the current difficult economic climate and these proposals will cut red tape and bureaucracy,” said minister John Healy. “This will make life simpler for councils who can focus on the major applications that matter most.”

The government also announced a simplified application process for small schemes, including reducing the requirements for design and access statements, potentially saving a further £70 million per year.

The changes have been announced as the first stage of the Department for Communities & Local Government’s response to the findings of the Killian Pretty report, commissioned by MPs to examine opportunities to streamline the planning process.

In a statement the DCLG said: “As recommended by Killian Pretty, the department is conducting a wide ranging review, which will change 13 of the 26 planning policy statements by the end of the year.”

The programme for streamlining planning policy statements is available here

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