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PR 54 - Introduce a "Highway Code" for permitted development

09 September 2008

The Government should produce a Highway Code style document on permitted development, which clearly explains to the public their rights and responsibilities when it comes to making changes to their properties.

The call is made in the RTPI's submission to the Killian Pretty Review into the planning application process. Permitted development, which describes the changes that can be made to a property without the need to gain planning permission first, is currently generated at the national level by regulation. However there is no single, publicly available guideline document on permitted development. The RTPI believes an illustrated document should be created setting out clearly when planning permission is and isn't required. It should also explain the procedures for seeking planning permission where necessary, as well as giving good advice about doing neighbourly and environmentally friendly development when permitted to do so without the need to gain approval.

RTPI Policy Director Rynd Smith said; \"Currently there are too many minor applications washing across the desks of hard pressed local authority planners which don't need to be there. The quality of applications is also frequently poor, which makes processing more difficult and time consuming. Where applications are not needed, members of the public often complain the development outcomes are not well designed. A clear, well illustrated Highway Code style document covering permitted development could reduce the number of applications in the system as well as improve the quality of the applications being made. The net result would be a faster, more user friendly planning process.\"

For further information or to arrange an interview please contact:

Dale Atkinson, RTPI Communications Manager, 0207 929 9479

Notes to Editors:

1. A full copy of the RTPI's submission to the Killian Pretty Review is available from here.
2. The RTPI is a dynamic organisation leading the way in the creation of places that work now and in the future. We understand that just as people develop places, so places develop people. We are committed to the enhancement of our natural and human environment, using spatial planning to manage competing pressures on our built environments and the very real effects on our space. Through our 20,000 members, we constantly seek to create areas and places in which people want to live and work.

For further general information, visit the RTPI website at:
41 Botolph Lane, London, EC3R 8DL, charity no. 262865.
Charity registered in Scotland: SC 037841