Andrew Smith MP

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'Relaxed' planning permission

ADS_HEADSHOT_1.jpgAndrew in clash with Minster on 'relaxed' planning permission

Andrew Smith MP challenged the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government over proposals to relax 3 years requirements for planning permission for many extensions to houses and businesses. Under the proposals planning approval would not be needed for extensions of up to 8 metres for detached houses, and up to 6 metres for others.

Questioning the Secretary of State on his proposals, Andrew told the Commons: "Does the Secretary of State accept that in areas such as mine, which is under enormous pressure for houses in multiple occupation, his proposals on domestic extensions risk an explosion of unsightly and unneighbourly developments that will degrade residential areas and, to repeat a phrase that he used earlier, the aspirations of those who live there?"

Mr Pickles replied: "Well, there speaks the voice of moderate Labour: If you live in a house, forget about a conservatory. If you live in a small house, forget about an extension. They're not for the likes of you, my lad--we preserve those things for the toffs."

Andrew said afterwards: "The Secretary of State's pig-ignorant and dismissive reply shows he has no idea at all about the planning pressures in Oxford and the battles residents face to keep a good quality environment in our communities. If this goes ahead, there will be mayhem with a rush of uncontrolled development which will have people up in arms."

"The government have said they are going to consult on this. I am sure residents' groups and individuals will be registering very strong objections."

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