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PR 55 - Positive steps on permitted development

10 September 2008

New rules in England governing loft conversions, home extensions and garden paving are a positive step toward creating a more efficient, more user friendly planning system.

The government today (Wednesday) laid regulatory changes before parliament which will revise the General Permitted Development Order. The changes will come into force on October 1. They apply to England only and will give more homeowners the right to make unintrusive alterations to their homes without the need for gaining planning permission first.

The RTPI welcomes the changes, which have the potential to clear unnecessary clutter out of the planning system, giving planning officers more time to deal with complex applications which require deeper consideration. However, the RTPI is urging the Government to ensure that the online interactive site on the Planning Portal Website, which is designed to explain to the public what changes can be made to homes without the need for planning permission, is both widely publicised and readily accessible.

RTPI Policy Director Rynd Smith said; \"We are pleased the government has listen to our calls for a more impact based set of permitted development rights. We think it is reasonable for homeowners to be able to make unintrusive alternations to their properties without having to gain planning permission first. Not only is it good for the public but it is good for the planning system too as it clears unnecessary applications from the system, giving planning officers more time to deal with more demanding applications.

\"Extending permitted development rights will only work provided the public has a clear understanding of their rights and responsibilities. In order for that to happen there needs to be a clear set of guidance, which is readily available and well known. The government needs to ensure that the new interactive site on the Planning Portal Webiste ticks all of those boxes.\"

For further information or to arrange an interview please contact:

Dale Atkinson, RTPI Communications Manager, 0207 929 9479

Notes to Editors:

1. 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