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Neighbourhoods concerned over home extension impact

A new poll has found that the majority of people think reforms to home extension planning requirements will be detrimental to the design of their neighbourhood.

The YouGov poll, commissioned by the Royal Institute of British Architects, found that 54 per cent of respondents thought removing planning permission requirements would worsen their neighbourhood’s design quality.

Just 7 per cent thought that the changes would improve their neighbourhood design.

Earlier this month, the government announced a temporary planning permission ‘holiday’ on extensions up to six or eight metres from the rear wall of a home, where the limit was previously three or four metres.

RIBA says it is concerned that the plans go against the commitment to quality design set out in the National Planning Policy Framework, and says the government should put safeguards in place and consider the cost to future owners in rectifying poor design.

The poll also found that half of respondents were worried about losing their voice in local planning systems.

RIBA past president and planning group chair Ruth Reed said the policy was “rushed”, and could “pave the way for poor design desicisions which could damage our built environment for years to come”.

“We agree that there is a need to reduce the red tape in our current planning system”, she added, “but as the British public have clearly expressed, this policy change must be more carefully considered to ensure we make our neighbourhoods better, not worse.”

Ms Reed added that the reforms risked creating “anxiety amongst communities who have been promised more local influence by this government, not less”.

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