Thursday, 6 September 2012

Householder PD rights to be overhauled at last

The announcements that have been made from 10, Downing Street today are unusually detailed, particularly as regards the rewrite of Part 1 of the Second Schedule to the GPDO, which will significantly increase permitted development rights for house extensions within Class A. This suggests that some detailed work on the changes to the GPDO had been carried out at Eland House in readiness for this announcement, so it would be wrong to suggest that these changes have been made without reference to Pickles and his department; it is simply that he is now being told what is required, and presumably the price of his staying on as Secretary of State was his promised compliance with the new Downing Street diktat.

I am certainly pleased to see these changes. The messy compromise resulting from the last overhaul of Part 1 was never satisfactory, and so these further changes are long overdue. Needless, to say, the proposed changes are hedged about by various ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ and there will continue to be restrictions in various protected areas (such as AONBs, conservations areas, etc.). The changes are also subject to a period of consultation, and there may well be some controversy over the proposals before they are finally published in the form of an amendment to the GPDO. Although the PM is expressing his firm resolve to push through these changes, it is entirely possible that some details could change before the they emerge in their final form.

I don’t propose to discuss the precise details of the changes to Part 1, which have been widely reported in the press, but will await the publication of the consultation draft of the proposed amendments to the GPDO that can no doubt be expected shortly.


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