Planning red tape to be cut

Planning
Planning

Planning permission for small housing extensions in Aylesbury Vale will be granted automatically if they meet certain criteria under new legislation.

The Local Development Order (LDO) is designed to make it easier to extend certain types of rear and side extensions to detached and semi-detached houses.

It means the time taken to decide on small housing extensions will be cut from eight to two weeks.

The new regime will not apply in conservation areas, listed buildings and some other locations.

Aylesbury Vale District Council’s cabinet this week gave the go-ahead to the planning changes, subject to government approval.

The council says the move will save money and allow the council to concentrate on larger and more complex planning applications.

Homeowners would have to ensure guidelines are met and would need to tell neighbours about plans before going to the council.

Councillor Sue Polhill, cabinet member for planned development, design and conservation, said: “We receive around 1,000 householder applications and 90 per cent of these are approved.

“The LDO will grant planning permission automatically for any works that comply with criteria that we set and a design code to safeguard the amenities of neighbours.

“It will reduce the costs, workload and time taken to process from eight weeks to two weeks and allow us to set the fee to recover our true cost and improve the service for customers.”

Residents were given the opportunity during the summer to have their say on the planning changes.

The council said their responses were taken into account in the decision making process.