POLL: Redbridge Council ‘very concerned’ about changes in planning law

Changes in planning law allowing extensions of up to eight metres to be built without permission have left the council “very concerned”, and it is urging residents to make themselves aware of their rights.

The relaxation in permitted development rules, which came into force on May 30, allow homeowners to double the size of single-story extensions without formal planning consent.

The advice from Redbridge Council follows its agreement last month to look at all the options to make sure it retains as much control as possible of extensions being built across the borough.

Cllr Alex Wilson, cabinet member for planning and public protection, said: “We are very concerned about this change [and] we will do everything we can to limit the impact where possible.

“This includes not being afraid to use our powers under Article 4 of the Town and Country Planning Act to stop any proposals that will adversely impact the neighbouring area.

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“We are by no means against development in the borough and the majority of planning applications are approved. However, we are determined to retain an element of control so that development is sympathetic to the area.”

The council is asking residents to make sure they are aware of the changes, which allow extensions of up to eight metres for detached houses and six metres for semi-detached or terraced homes, and to look out for notifications from neighbours.

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Goodmayes Residents’ Association chairman Keith Stanbury said: “I am horrified by these changes and I think it is a step in the wrong direction.

“It is supposed to generate a boost to the economy but I think instead it will cause a rise in bad extensions.

“This is a poor piece of legislation which will cause aggravation between neighbours.”

He added: “I can see the advantages for growing families who need more space but unfortunately some people will use this to increase the occupancy of their property.”

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