"Tearing up" planning rules

The coalition government is intending to "tear up" thousand pages of planning rules. A review by Lord Taylor has concluded that up to 80% of the 7,000 rules governing where development can take place should go. Lord Taylor said that the process to cut the regulations would be similar to the changes made to the NPPF, which involved 1,200 pages being reduced to just 52. His report recommended that the guidance should be "whittled down to an essential, coherent, accessible and well–managed suite of guidance that aids the delivery of good planning". The report recommended that work starts immediately so that the guidance is updated by March 28, the first anniversary of the NPPF. Reviews are generally a good thing and can lead to improvements, but some of the pronouncements from ministers suggest there could be a 'free for all' for developers and less protection for residents and neighbours, with, for example, houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) allowed without planning approval and extensions taking over more garden space than currently allowed. The latter could possibly add to "beds in sheds" and poor quality accommodation.

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