A leading member of Croydon council has come out in opposition to government plans to relax building regulations.
Jason Perry, cabinet member for planning, regeneration and transport on the borough’s Conservative-controlled council, said his party’s reforms would leave a “dreadful legacy”.
In a statement on the Croydon Conservatives website, Perry said: “When the promised consultation is launched on these proposals, my council will resist them in the strongest possible terms.
“They make no sense; they will cause real and lasting harm and they will do little to boost the economy.”
David Cameron announced in early September that there would be a relaxation to planning rules for one year, allowing homeowners more latitude to extend their houses. He said this would both help the economy and aid the housing crisis in England.
But Perry said: “No one believes that the proposed changes will make any real or lasting difference to the country’s economic difficulties, but they will make a big and long-lasting difference to the lives of people who will be affected by the extremely large extensions that may be possible.”
“To double the limits for single storey extensions is saying that it’s OK to cause harm and misery to people whose gardens and homes will be overshadowed because a few builders will be a bit busier.”
While he supported the government’s extension of the FirstBuy scheme, which aims to help first time buyers, he said that the planning changes “cannot be right”.
The relaxation, which covers both commercial and residential structures, will allow buildings to be extended up to 8 metres.
The government’s planning minister Nick Boles said that although they cannot force councils to adopt the proposed policy, he does believe that the vast majority will allow it to go ahead.
A recent poll published on the YouGov website commissioned by the Royal Institute of British Architects showed that 54 per cent of the British public were concerned that the reform was going to decrease the quality of their area.
7 per cent voted that the reform would make their area a better place to live.
Other London boroughs opposing the reform include Richmond-upon-Thames and Sutton.
With additional research by Liron Zisser.