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‘Relaxed’ planning laws face hostility

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GOVERNMENT proposals to relax planning laws on home and business extensions are being opposed by Harborough District Council.

Councillors from the Conservative and Lib Dem groups on the authority agreed on Monday to protest at the plans put forward by their Government counterparts which would allow homeowners to build larger extensions without planning permission.

The coalition’s proposal is designed to boost the economy by green-lighting more projects.

It proposes a temporary three-year relaxation of planning law which would increase the size of home extensions allowable without planning permission from three metres to six for attached properties, and up to eight metres on detached homes.

It would also relax the rules on businesses wishing to expand their premises and on the conversion of office blocks to flats.

The proposals prompted cross-party agreement at the meeting this week, with members agreeing the authority submits a formal response to Government opposing the plan.

The statement signed by council leader Michael Rook and Lib Dem group leader Phil Knowles says: “As normally supportive and loyal coalition councillors, we believe these proposals add no significant value to the growth agenda, or encourage community cohesion in our district.

“We therefore urgently seek assurance that these planning proposals will be withdrawn immediately, before permanent injustice is done to individuals in our community.”

 

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