Latest News & Events

Latest News & Events

Residents could get the right to vote on whether neighbours can build extensions

Residents could soon be allowed to vote on whether or not to grant planning permission to their neighbours for extensions to existing homes and developments on their street.

It is understood that as part of the new Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill the government are looking to change the current planning system to “give residents more involvement in local development"

Fiona Gaskell, Partner in the Litigation Team said   “I hope and believe that the headline we have been given is only a very small part of the whole process of reforming planning. Clearly if neighbours can influence the outcome of a planning application there must be recourse to an appeal otherwise we would be creating a system that would simply be inequitable. It would have the potential to create an unpredictable process based on factors not relevant to the planning process but other subjective factors such as whether the applicant and their neighbours were on good terms and whether they were in some way connected, such as family members.”

Fiona added “Applications for extensions are currently met with fierce objections from neighbours many of which are based upon a desire to preserve a cherished view, an open aspect to a property or a sunny spot in a garden. In most cases there is no legal foundation to such objections and a planning officer or the planning committee of the local authority will determine the application disregarding any factors that are not relevant. If neighbours are to be allowed to influence this process then there still needs to be a process of evaluating their reasons for voting one way or the other.”

If you have any concerns with regards to planning permission or disputes please contact Fiona Gaskell.

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