Following the news that developers will be able to convert commercial buildings into homes without planning permission, the Local Government Association Liberal Democrat Group’s planning lead, Cllr Adele Morris, said:
“Planning is not a barrier to house-building, with councils approving nine in 10 planning applications. It is essential that councils and local communities have a voice in the planning process.
“Permitted development rules are taking away the ability of local communities to shape the area they live in, ensure homes are well-designed with the necessary infrastructure in place and have resulted in the potential loss of thousands of affordable homes.
“Councils are committed to building the homes the country desperately needs, however it is vital the planning process is allowed to do its job, by making sure that homes are built in the right places, are affordable to those who need them and supported by the right infrastructure.
“Rather than extend permitted development rights, the Government needs to give councils the powers to invest in new homes for those that need them, such as by urgently reforming the Right to Buy scheme, in addition to powers to get the hundreds of thousands of homes with planning permission built more quickly.”