The Much Derided New UK Planning Rules

There has been much media attention on the upcoming planning rules recently decided in parliament to try and boost the struggling construction market. In case you missed it or need a reminder, here is the new legislation; planning rules will be relaxed by allowing single-story extensions of up to 8 metres to be built without planning permission. BPM Maintenance is a property maintenance company that could stand to benefit from these new laws, so you could be forgiven for thinking that our opinion would be biased. But I will try and take an objective look at the situation.

Many in the media have suggested that the changes will bring in a new wave of alienesque building work transforming your neighbourhood into a bad space opera. As I have seen evidence of such construction already in existence with the current laws, these critics are likely right to be worried.

But an important, related issue that has not got as much attention in the media is that there are still hoops would-be Martians must jump through before they turn their house into a second Saturn. House extensions must be approved by building regulations and may require a special ‘build over’ permission from the local water board. Many of the buildings here in Bath are also listed throwing another set of red tape over plans. Any home owners who do not follow through these required rules can expect thousands of pounds in charges.

So, if you do have any plans to take advantage of the new laws, please contact your local council; Bath and North East Somerset Council if you’re local to us here in Bath.

On a more positive note (perhaps), the construction industry has taken the brunt of some the worst effects of the recession, so any bone that can be thrown is highly appreciated and likely necessary to revive it, before its foundations fully decay and collapse, taking other parts of the UK resting atop them down with it. After all, that is what this is about, a desperate effort by the coalition to try and generate growth in the country as a whole; promised when they came into power, but so far has not materialised. That and another chance to fire some more of the public sector when their jobs become redundant after some red tape for businesses is removed.


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