MERIDEN MP Caroline Spelman is backing the Government's plans to make it easier for homeowners to improve their properties.
Under the current system, homeowners wishing to extend their home more than a few metres from the property's rear wall have to fill in complicated planning application forms that can take eight weeks or longer for the council to consider.
Under the new proposals, it would be 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, and will be able to undertake home improvements to cater for a growing family or look after an elderly relative without unnecessary costs and bureaucracy. In turn, this will boost the local economy and local traders, by encouraging people to improve their home.
Mrs Spelman said: "I think homeowners in Meriden constituency will join me in welcoming the changes. For most people they will make the whole process of planning small single-storey rear extensions and conservatories less complicated.
"Householder applicants could save directly on the £150 cost of the planning application fee that will no longer apply. There should also be indirect savings on costs such as professional fees, production of scaled drawings, and time spent on compiling and presenting information."
* A recipe for disaster or a good thing - what do you think of the Governments plans? Write to us at Solihull News, Floor 6, Fort Dunlop, Erdington, Birmingham, B24 9FF or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The consultation document is available online at.
www.communities.gov.uk/publications/planningandbuilding/extendingpdrconsultation .The consultation closes on December 24, 2012.