tombrookThe Bishopston Society’s voice on the urban fabric has reached Whitehall in the light of our concerns about “permitted developments” in our planning system.

Our recent account of the detrimental effects of poorly drafted and enforced permitted developments has attracted attention in high places. It cited examples of unsightly dormer roof extensions slipping through the planning system without proper scrutiny, and parking in front gardens detrimental to the street scene and environment.

The plea, submitted on our behalf by Neil Embleton our Planning Coordinator, was initially sent to our local councillors. It was described as “impassioned and extensive” by Tom Brook, Bristol City Councillor for Bishopston and Ashley Down (pictured), who took up the issue and has forwarded our views to decision-makers.

Our voice has reached the top of the City Council as a result, in that Councillor Nicola Beech, Cabinet Member for Spatial Planning and City Design, has been reported as “discussing the issue with her senior officers in an effort to form a BCC response to permitted development as a whole”.

Tom has also fed back to the Society on the bigger question affecting areas far beyond ours, ie should the government review the rules on permitted developments? Bristol’s Planning Department has advised that political pressure is the way to influence planning policy at the national level.

Thangam 1

Our plea has therefore gone forward as well to Thangham Debbonnaire, MP for Bristol West (pictured praising TBS at our public meeting in 2016), who has “written to the Department for Communities and Local Government raising our concerns”, Tom reported.

Responses from both BCC and our MP have been promised, so readers are asked to watch this space for further news…

Our original illustrated plea on permitted developments can be found here, and our policy on planning is here.