The Communities and Local Government Select Committee has published its response to the Government’s consultation on permitted development rights for homeowners.
- The impact assessment for the proposal is inadequate and does not provide a sound basis justifying the proposed changes to permitted development rights for domestic extensions.
- It regrets that the Government has failed to address or evaluate the social and environmental arguments put forward against the proposed changes to permitted development rights for domestic extensions. Its approach has, the Committee argues, “…disregarded two of the components of sustainable development: the social and environmental impact.”
- The case for change has not been made.
The Committee concludes that if the change to permitted development rights is worth making, it should be permanent. If it is not, then the change should not be made.
The Committee also recommends a number of amendments to the proposals:
- To exclude Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) from the proposed changes, due to the potential impact on areas with a significant number of HMOs.
- To remove payment of compensation and to allow local authorities to charge for planning applications falling within the remit of Article 4 Direction legislation in cases such as domestic extensions, in order to provide a viable local exemption from permitted development rights.
- For the Government to carry out a full review of the impact of the changes at the end of the three year ‘trial’; which includes:
- An independent study, including commissioned research on neighbour disputes; and the impact on the quality, design and amenity of the permitted development and on the local area
- An invitation to interested parties to submit evidence; and,
- The publication of the review’s outcomes.
The RLA responded to the Government’s consultation supporting the proposed extension of permitted development rights, and argued for Class C4 HMOs to be included as well as for the new rights to be allowed indefinitely, not limited to just three years.