Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Planning White Paper on Lofts: OK if they are for children or crouching adults

I read some of the Government's Planning White Paper. It was a bit like 'motherhood and apple pie' in many places, with some fairly dangerous vague concepts thrown in. A typical Labour white paper, in other words.

In many media outlets, the White Paper was 'spun' as relieving householders from the red tape of planning approval for minor works such as loft conversions.

However, the Federation of Master Builders have studied the white paper and found that its proposals could "wipe out" loft conversions:

Brian Berry of the Federation of Master Builders says the new proposals include an 'impact test' for certain home improvements which is open to interpretation, and could effectively stop home renovations such as loft conversions. 'The Planning White Paper states that "developments considered to have more than a low impact on the wider neighbourhood and/or street scene would require specific planning permission from the local planning authority".

On BBC Breakfast this morning, they demonstrated that, in future, lofts will only be able to go through without planning approval if they are small enough only to accommodate children or permanently crouching adults.

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