Over 250 MPs have been contacted by civic groups that are challenging the Government’s home extensions’ plans.

The amendment, introduced in the House of Lords by Lord True CBE,  means councils could, if they wished, opt out of the proposed legislation which would allow house extensions to double in size before needing the local planning permissions which are currently required.

Lord True CBE said “Many MPs of all parties must surely see how unfair it would be for neighbours to lose the right to be heard or to ask for change in the case of big ugly extensions. We must build community cohesion not create friction between neighbours. This is now the last chance to urge MPs to back those who play by the rules, not the minority who want to ignore them. I applaud Civic Voice for supporting this amendment.”

Zac Goldsmith MP who will be spearheading support for Lord True’s amendment in the Commons debate said “Everyone wants to see common sense reforms to planning policy so that uncontentious developments get a green light, and planning officers are able to focus on the cases that really matter. But this policy simply rips up all local input, and is a recipe for guaranteed hostilities between neighbours. It is madness to remove people’s right to object to developments that threaten their quality of life. I hope this sensible and modest Lords amendment passes through the Commons so that elected local representatives are able to decide for themselves if this policy suits their communities.”

Paula Ridley CBE, Chair of Civic Voice said, “There has been widespread concern about the Government’s planning reforms which would put everyday England at risk. Over 250 MPs have been contacted by groups who want to see this amendment introduced; however, this may not be enough. If you support the amendment to allow local choice, visit the Civic Voice website today and tell your MP. Numbers count on an issue such as this as the Government has made it clear they want to see the amendment removed.”

For latest news on the result of the vote on the Lord's Amendment, see the recent article on this website:

'Civic Voice' joins Roberta Blackman-Woods in responding to vote on Permitted Development Rights

Civic Voice is the national charity for the civic movement. We lead and support civic societies as a national movement for quality of place, with people actively improving their towns, cities and villages and promoting civic pride. We speak up for civic societies and local communities across England and we believe everyone should live somewhere they can be proud of. Civic societies are the most numerous participants in the planning system. Since its launch in April 2010, Civic Voice has been joined by over 290 civic societies with 75,000 members. Further information is available at http://www.civicvoice.org.uk including how to join Civic Voice (£10 individuals) and contact details for local civic societies.

Steve Graham, Chief Executive, Civic Voice (m) 079217 67650