Whilst we all applaud the Governments attempt to stimulate the economy through housebuilding, and in particular the removal of affordable homes from schemes which are deemed to be unprofitable with an affordable element.
There is one concern I have which to me questions the sanity of the current Government.
That concern is the scrapping of planning permission for extensions to homes.
This to me sounds like a ‘light the blue touch paper and retire’ type of policy which will put neighbour against neighbour with the main beneficiaries being the legal profession!
The quality of such buildings will not be affected of course, as building regulations will still be required and are very strict. This is not a DIY’ers charter, but my concern is the breathtaking shortsightedness of the Government and the incredible ease for them to simply roll out another policy change after another.
What happened to localism?
Remember that being heralded immediately the Government first came to power?
If you remember they were looking at scrapping new build homes on garden areas.
I don t think anybody took it that seriously, certainly my development colleagues didn't, but who would have taken a bet on being able to build a thumping great extension on your home without any planning whatsoever nor anybody’s objections being heard, virtually sticking two fingers up to the people who live next door to you? It’s unprecedented.
Clearly this is a very poorly thought out scheme which does make me worry that these folks seem to panic their way from policy to policy.
Looking at the wider picture this is also going to be divisive amongst neighbourhoods.
Most homeowners are strapped for cash and with mortgage companies not keen on lending money and the general financial drought within the banking system this can only benefit the comfortably off, or certainly those not feeling the pinch at the moment.
Even those with an 'A' start credit rating are not in the market to lend to.
My personal view is that there will be serious conflict here.
This is a massive gamble for them and they run a huge risk of alienating their main supporters, the middle England electorate.
Looking at my crystal ball I think their next move will be to shorten the time it takes to get planning, currently taking between 12 to 15 weeks down to 10.
Let me know what you think.
Have a great weekend.