No planning permission required

Consultation is under way on the extension of permitted development rights that would allow substantial and significant extensions of both domestic and commercial property in non-protected areas (outside conservation areas) without the need for planning permission.

The Society has responded fully and is largely against these extensions. We have also commented on two of the proposals. The first, to exclude conservation areas and Sites of Special Scientific Interest from presumed development rights, has won our support. “We object to the proposed extensions to permitted development rights,” we wrote, “but if they are to be enacted, we strongly support that conservation areas…should be excluded.”

Unforeseeable siting decisions

One proposal would also permit fixed electronic communications equipment, such as super-fast broadband boxes, to be installed, altered or replaced without prior approval. Our response was, “While recognising the importance of providing high speed broadband, we believe that local planning authorities should retain control of the siting of equipment in conservation areas through the requirements of prior approval.

“We do not think that good practice agreements would be adequate to protect the character of such areas, given the many unforeseeable siting decisions that will arise.”

• You can download our full response here

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