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Planning relaxation 'will bring neighbour disputes'

MPs have been urged to back a local opt-out for controversial planning changes in England, ahead of a vote.

Ministers want to double the maximum size to which home extensions can be built without planning permission, in a bid to boost construction.

But the Local Government Association (LGA) wants MPs to give individual councils the power to reject the rules.

The LGA says the plan could "open the floodgates" to thousands of "unsightly and unsuitable" house extensions.

Speaking to Today presenter Evan Davis, Zac Goldsmith, Conservative MP for Richmond, said that the bill was a recipe for community disharmony.

"It's a very odd policy and I am genuinely confused by trying to understand why the government's introduced it. It will guarantee disputes between neighbours... it seems like very bad, clumsy politics," he said.

Heather Wheeler, Conservative MP for South Derbyshire, explained that "planning is absolutely too cumbersome... we need to kick start the industry".

Broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Tuesday 16 April 2013.

  • 16 Apr 2013