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Easier Planning Process?

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Some months ago, the British government announced its intention to simplify the processes by which domestic planning applications are conducted by local authorities, in order to reduce red tape and the constraints over so-called 'permitted development'.

Aylesbury Vale District Council has just announced that it will be relaxing local planning regulations from 1st November 2013. Below are the details of their announcement:

AVDC's Householder Extensions Local Development Order

The Secretary of State has agreed that AVDC can proceed with the adoption and introduction of a Householder Extensions Local Development Order (LDO), following the public consultation in July and August this year.

This relates to the way we would handle smaller household extensions to detached and semi detached houses.

We are introducing a Local Development Order on 1st November 2013 to handle smaller household extensions which are straightforward, that we normally say 'yes' to. It would extend Permitted Development rights to most single-storey rear and side extensions, and first floor and two-storey rear extensions on detached or semi detached properties. There will of course be exemptions, such as listed buildings and those in conservation areas.

Under the Householder Extensions LDO, homeowners would be responsible for ensuring they have met the necessary guidelines. They would also have to inform neighbours of their plans before applying to the council.

It is intended that the LDO applications be published in the Planning Bulletin, for information purposes only, so parish and town councils are aware of any such development in their locality.

In considering the representations made in response to the consultation, we recognise the important role of parish and town councils in the planning process and believe that this would not be undermined by the LDO. The fundamental purpose of the LDO is to change the process, from one of judging the planning merits of a proposal, to a compliance check where permission is automatically granted if it meets the terms of the LDO.

The design code, which is at the heart of the LDO, sets out the criteria for acceptable development. This has built in safeguards to protect residential amenities as well as the character of the property and area. The LDO is aimed at the type of development which is usually approved — including where objections have been raised.

The LDO will not apply to all householder applications and there will still be a significant number that will be required to make a formal planning application. Parish and town councils will still be consulted on those, as currently.

Details of the LDO requirements will also be available from 1st November 2013 on the Council's website

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