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Frustration over 'loss' of planning control
Frustrated councillors are calling for a change to planning rules on smaller developments which they say take away local control.
A planning committee of councillors yesterday voted against plans for roof extension and rear dormer development in Coolgardie Avenue, Chigwell, as they felt the changes to the semi-detached property would create an "unbalanced aesthetic".
The applicant, John Carpenter, now intends to reduce the size of the extension by just 0.5 cubic meters to create a so-called ‘permitted development’, which can go ahead without approval.
Cllr Jennie Hart of Loughton Residents Association said: “Even if you refuse an application it can be built and it will look no different. Our hands are tied really.”
Permitted developments are set by central government and allow any building within certain parameters, regardless of appearance.
Chigwell Village representative, Cllr John Knapman, said: “In the end we will have no control over what our own areas look like.”
The Conservative member for Chigwell Village intends to make representations to party colleagues in central government with a view to shifting decision-making back to a local level.
He continued: “Central government issue diktats which local government say won’t work but central government end up winning.
“Central government policy is overwriting the wishes of local residents.”
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