This is the verdict of the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA), the Civic Voice, and the Bath Preservation Trust, who have published their responses to the government’s consultation Planning Reform: Supporting the High Street and Increasing the Delivery of New Homes.
The TCPA says it is “firmly opposed” to extending permitted development, particularly the proposals to allow commercial properties to be demolished and rebuilt for residential use, and extend building upward to create new homes without going through the full planning process.
The organisation acknowledges that converting buildings with employment to residential units can be done to a good standard and will lead to the delivery of much-needed homes. But doing so through permitted development results in “extremely limited” scrutiny and oversight of developments, it said.
The critics claim that these development has and will result in poor-quality development that has had “serious adverse implications for people’s health and well-being”. Contributions to affordable housing, public services and local infrastructure are also suffering as a result.
The RTPI has also expressed its worries about permitted development and the serious financial implications for local authorities, which would not be able to collect planning fees and developer contributions.
The institute maintains that permitted development rights are designed for simple or minor changes, not new developments on this scale, which should be subject to full local planning scrutiny.
What are your thoughts? Do you agree with the criticism or is the government on the right track to making the planning system less bureaucratic and more user-friendly?