Permitted Development Rights -
At a Cross Roads?

Permitted Development (PD) Rights have long been the greatest problem facing conservation areas and locally listed buildings - permitting a staggering range of alterations and additions to dwellinghouses without the need for planning permission.  IHBC was thus keenly represented at a brain storming session at the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) in May; looking for a new approach to householder PD Rights. 

An impact based approach is being put forward that
inter alia recognises the importance of historic buildings and places and is proposed to be enabled through a Local Development Scheme underpinned by Design Guidance.  However, it was apparent that the work involved in preparing and serving these documents for each conservation area has been hopelessly under estimated. 

It would seem that the previous study by Nathaniel Lichfield into the subject of PD Rights is perceived as "flawed" and has subse

quently been shelved.  So, despite efforts from the IHBC representative, there was little sign of any appetite for a wholesale removal of PD Rights in conservation areas. 

Both the IHBC and CABE representatives at the meeting shared the view that current PD Rights continued to allow a distressing range of ill conceived and poor quality alterations to houses that is leading to the 'uglification' of the whole of the UK; those members who attended the London Branch's Day Conference on Suburbs last year will be well aware of these issues.  Unfortunately, there was also an alarming enthusiasm from other quarters for further deregulation! 

A working report on the new impact based scheme is expected later in the year.

Mike Brown

Tel: 020 8359 4661