United over planning row

Martin Johns and Christine Burberry at home in Towcester illustrating planning changes and neighbourliness.'121023M-A676
Martin Johns and Christine Burberry at home in Towcester illustrating planning changes and neighbourliness.'121023M-A676

South Northants politicians have joined forces to oppose changes to the planning system which they fear could destroy friendly neighbourhoods, while allowing developers to run roughshod over the needs of a community.

Last week members of South Northants Council voted almost unanimously in favour of a motion to oppose changes proposed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, which would allow householders to build extensions 8m from the rear wall, without planning permission.

They also oppose changes giving developers greater control over affordable housing requirements, and the amount they pay towards infrastructure improvement.

After the motion was put by Lib Dem Martin Johns, Tory member for planning Rebecca Breese said the first neighbours may know of an development is when work started. She added: “We wish to preserve what is special in the district and we have concerns that inappropriate developments could appear that would be unlikely to get formal planning permission.”

Both called on the Coalition Government to reconsider the changes.