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UK Government Relaxes Planning Laws to Kick-Start Economy

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United Kingdom  David Cameron  UK Housing Market  Nick Clegg  Prime Minister  Deputy PM  UK Planning Laws  Shared Equity 

UK Government Relaxes Planning Laws to Kick-Start Economy

By - Thursday 06 September 2012

The government is set to unveil its latest set of initiatives aimed at helping the country out of recession. Among the new announcements, the government hopes to relaunch its coalition with what will be a major relaxation of UK planning laws.

At present UK home-owners can build single-storey extensions or conservatories without planning permission, as long as they do not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house by a set distance, which is three metres (9ft 11ins) for semi-detached houses and four metres (13ft 1in) for detached houses. The new legislation will double those limits, but only until 2015.

Some 200,000 households apply for planning permission for conservatories, garage conversions and extensions each year. The application fee is usually around £150 but professional fees for various consultations often take the cost into the thousands. But the worst thing is the red tape that many find themselves mire in for months, even though most of the applications will eventually be accepted.

The government hopes this temporary relaxation will prompt home-owners to bring forward renovation plans and generate spending for the economy. But Coalition strategists are also hoping that the focus on home improvements will persuade voters that the Government is in touch with their hopes and ambitions.

The relaxation also applies to the commercial sector; under the new legislation shops will be able to add up to 100 square meters of working space without planning permission and industrial units will be able to add twice as much.

Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy PM Nick Clegg issued a joint statement:

"This Government means business in delivering plans to help people, build new homes and kick-start the economy.

"We're determined to cut through the bureaucracy that holds us back."

"That starts with getting the planners off our backs. Getting behind the businesses that have the ambition to expand. And meeting the aspirations of families that want to buy or improve a home."

The government also announced places for a further 16,500 first time buyers in its shared-equity home buying programme, as well as plans for the Treasury to underwrite up to £10 billion in loans to property developers and housing associations.

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