In the last few months the government has put forward some changes to ‘Permitted Development’ in Planning. The first of these was that certain types of empty businesses (offices and the like) could be converted to flats without requiring planning permission. This would have jeopardised the changing face of our villages and lost some high street office space for ever. The second was that back garden single storey extensions could be increased from 3m (Semi Detached) or 4m (detached) to 6m and 8m respectively. Imagine your next door neighbour being able to build a 6m or 8m extension without permission.
Both of these are issues that we wrote to the planning Minister about to object to (along with a hundred other parties and organisations) and in the last weeks we have heard back on both.
Office to flat conversion: EHDC has been granted an exemption for permitted development to change from offices to flats in 10 of our Parishes, including Horndean, so these valuable business spaces can not just be cashed in as homes.
Extensions: Anyone planning on a larger extension will need to notify the Planning Authority of their intent, and the planning authority can treat this as a normal application if they feel it will unreasonably affect the neighbours.
These proposed changes would have been, we felt, very damaging to our communities and we are pleased to have been able to protect against them.