Lambeth council opposes relaxing planning rules
Lambeth has council joined the backlash against relaxing planning rules amid fears the area could become blighted with ugly and oversized extensions.
Richmond and Sutton councils have already spoken out against the Government’s plans to allow larger building extensions in back gardens for the next three years.
But the planning minister defended the proposals saying they would make it easier for families to make home improvements and generate business.
Council leader Steve Reed said if the changes go through the council will do everything they can, within the law, to refuse to implement them.
Coun Reed said: “Residents in Lambeth are angry that the Government is proposing a planning free-for-all.
”The planning rules exist to protect neighbours from potentially ugly and intrusive extensions that overlook their own gardens or block views from their homes.
“Scrapping these rules removes a vital safeguard and will lead to more disputes between neighbours.”
He added: “This is a serious mistake, the Government must quickly perform a u-turn and abandon these plans.
“We will not let the Government walk all over people in our borough who are entitled to the peace and privacy of their own homes and gardens.”
However, planning Minister Nick Boles said: "The planning system needs to strike a balance between the rights of the homeowner and their neighbours.
"Our proposals will make it easier for thousands of hard working families to undertake home improvements to cater for a growing family.
"It will also help generate new business for local construction companies and small trader."
If the proposals become law, business premises would be able to expand by 100sq metres and industrial units by 200sq metres without planning permission.
Offices would be permitted to convert to residential use without planning permission, regardless of the impact they will have on a neighbourhood.