Wednesday, October 20, 2021
Real EstateUK

Reading Borough Council considering changes to planning rule

Reading Borough Council

The council says PDR homes are often of poor quality and rarely provided with essential private or communal outdoor space

Developers could find it more difficult to add more flats to the town centre and other parts of Reading if the proposed changes to planning rules in Reading take effect.

Reading Borough Council is considering removing certain permitted development rights (PDR), which allow some applications to be made without planning permission, in large parts of the town.

The council says PDR homes are often of poor quality and rarely provided with essential private or communal outdoor space and can result in residents being introduced to areas which are wholly inappropriate as a place to live, for reasons such as noise and disturbance.

Other concerns from the council include the loss of essential local shops and services that are turned into flats, and the loss of affordable housing (estimated 586 on-site affordable homes and £3.64 million) and infrastructure contributions (estimated £2.17 million towards education and open space).

The council is seeking to do this under Article 4 of the GPDO, which allows a local authority to remove PDR subject to 12 months’ notice, consultation and approval by the Secretary of State.

The Secretary of State must be notified about any Article 4 direction and has powers to modify and cancel directions.

Any proposal to put an Article 4 direction in place will need to be accompanied by clear evidence to show the harm that results from the PDR.

The proposed plans are in response to a series of Government changes to planning legislation in recent years which have made it easier to convert buildings into flats and build flats on top of buildings.

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