Residents’ associations raise concerns over changes to planning regulations

A man from a residents association has said potential changes to planning regulation will be an “absolute disaster”.

The government is proposing relaxing planning rules for three years so people can built extensions of up to eight metres long for detatched houses.

It is hoped the relaxation will encourage economic growth.

Jim O’Halloran, from Goodmayes Residents’ Association, said: “It’s going to be an absolute disaster.

“Going eight metres into the garden – you’re never going to get any privacy. It’s an absolute joke.”

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One of Mr O’Halloran’s main concerns is that as people will be able to build extensions without permission it will cause problems between neighbours.

He said: “It’s going to cause lots of friction between residents, people that have got on for years will argue about extensions causing noise and taking away light.”

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Another of his concerns is regarding the quality of extensions.

“There’s going to be ramshackle buildings,” he said. “How can they justify that it will help the economy?”

Some associations, such as the Seven Kings Bungalow Estate Residents’ Association, have set up meetings with council officers to discuss the proposed changes.

Vera Wiseman, secretary of the association, said: “We are apprehensive about it because we don’t know how it will affect our conservation area.

“We are worried as it will be a free-for-all and people will just do what they like.”

She says that even though the changes are for a limited three year period, lots of changes could happen in that time which would be irreversible.

Lee Scott, MP for Ilford North, said the vast majority of concerns from residents will be raised by MPs when the bill is debated in the House of Commons.

He said: “I am sure these will be raised by MPs to make sure that provisions are in place to stop things like dangerous buildings.

“Conservation areas will still have to be adhered to.

“I have not seen suggestions otherwise.”

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