Wales planning system: Rules on extensions are relaxed

houses The relaxation of planning rules includes garden buildings as well as extensions

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Rules are to be relaxed in Wales to allow more extensions to be constructed without planning permission.

Housing and Regeneration Minister Carl Sargeant said the changes would mean people could add extensions to the roof, side and rear without permission.

The minister said he hoped it would allow councils to focus on larger, more complex planning applications.

The changes take place on 30 September and include garden buildings.

Mr Sargeant said: "These changes will allow some of the smaller, less contentious alterations and improvements to houses exempt from the planning process.

"The aim of these changes is to balance the provision of greater flexibility for householders with a need to protect the interests of communities and the impact of development on the environment.

'Certain requirements'

Mr Sargeant said he hoped the move will also allow local authorities to focus their attention on larger, more complex planning applications.

"The current limit means that often, only one extension can be built without planning permission.

"These changes will mean that a property can have extensions to the roof, side and rear without permission, as long as certain requirements are met."

In April, a report commissioned by the Federation of Small Businesses Wales called for the planning system in Wales to do more to promote economic development.

Richard Jenkins, director of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) Cymru, said the changes would make it "considerably easier for householders to extend their homes".

However, he said: "The FMB advises householders wishing to undertake the development to take care notifying their neighbour prior to actually undertaking the works."

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