MP Welcomes Proposals to Ease Home Improvements

North East Herts MP Oliver Heald has today welcomed the announcement by the Parliamentary under Secretary of State for Planning, that complicated planning application forms for small scale home improvements could be scrapped. A consultation document has just been published by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

The consultation makes it easier for families to improve their home while safeguards will remain in place so that all the larger, more complex and controversial cases will continue to be considered through the planning system.

The consultation document makes it easier and cheaper to build small-scale single-storey extensions and conservatories, while respecting the local amenity of neighbours. It is estimated that up to 40,000 families a year wishing to build straightforward rear extensions will benefit from the proposals. Households could save directly on the £150 cost of the planning application fee that will no longer apply. While also saving on indirect costs such as professional fees, production of scaled drawings, and time spent compiling and presenting information etc. The estimated total savings will be up to £2,470, depending on the level of information required to support the application.

Oliver Heald QC MP said, ‘This is a welcome announcement which could save householders and Local Councils’ time and money whilst making life easier for everyone who wishes to make small scale home improvements in North East Hertfordshire.’

For further information regarding the consultation document please visit

The consultation closes on the 24th December 2012, and following consideration of the responses we expect to bring in the changes early next year, through secondary legislation.