Planning rules are to be relaxed in England, it has been announced, in a bid to ‘get Britain building’, as deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg puts it. But, as with many matters since devolution, the situation is different here in Wales. So can we look forward to having less red tape to cut through when planning home extensions?
The truth is that a lot remains to be seen. The idea behind the proposed changes in England is to boost the economy; one way the government wants to achieve this is to allow homeowners, for a three-year period, to build bigger extensions without permission from planners in order to get the property market moving. In Wales the planning system is devolved to the Welsh Government – and they seem unlikely to follow the UK coalition.
But Environment Minister John Griffiths does want planning officers to find out what their local economies need and is expected next month to outline changes more in favour of the economy than the environment. He has told journalists that he wants to do ‘all we can’ to make sure that the planning system here supports economic development in today’s tough times and to have uniformity in decisions taken across Wales.
In the meantime, don’t be put off considering an extension as a way of adding value to your home and, of course, giving your family more room to grow! All good builders will keep up to date with the new regulations as they come into effect and will be happy to give you advice. Why not take a look here at our top tips on creating a new house extension and join the politicians in getting Britain building!