Extending permitted development rights is a free pass for the unscrupulous

richard steer BW

Extending permitted development flies in the face of all expert advice and reveals this government’s warped priorities

Just when you thought that the headlines for Robert Jenrick could not get any worse than those he achieved for his perceived dodgy deal with developer Richard Desmond, the secretary of state decided to sneak through new expanded permitted development (PD) rights as a distracted Parliament was entering its summer recess.

Planners, architects, surveyors and chartered construction professionals have all strongly condemned the government’s decision to press ahead with the new rules, which include a right for developers to demolish vacant office and industrial premises and rebuild them as homes. The new PD rights were branded “disgraceful” by the Royal Institute of British Architects, while the Royal Town Planning Institute described them as a “serious error”. Rarely has such a united cacophony of protest emanated from those operating in our sector.

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