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Minister streamlines planning process

21 December 2015

New regulations which will allow people to make changes to their home or building without planning permission have now been adopted and will come into force in the New Year.

Earlier this year, the Department of the Environment consulted people and businesses involved with planning, and the wider public, on proposed changes to orders governing what’s known as Permitted Development. These changes have now been signed and will come into force next month.

Environment Minister Deputy Steve Luce said “Earlier this year we did a round of consultation with people who use the planning system. People asked for a simpler process and it was something we’d also identified as a service we wanted to improve. We’ve acted quickly and responded to those concerns.

“As part of the wider approach to government reform – making the public service leaner and fit for purpose – and to save money and time, we’ve made our processes simpler and easier for people.

“On a personal note, cutting the red tape associated with planning has long been an ambition of mine and I’m delighted to have achieved it within a year of coming into office.”

Changes that will take effect as soon as the law is changed in the early New Year include businesses such as tourism, health and fitness and the late night economy being able to set up or move into new premises more easily. Many other minor changes to homes and businesses will no longer need permission and will become Permitted Development, including the following:

  • changing windows and doors on non-listed building
  • putting up advertising signs for charity events without permission for a limited period of time
  • making your home warmer by insulating your walls and roof up to 15 cm (using an external insulating render system)
  • fewer restrictions on replacement signs, the sizes of signs for shops, and advertising on construction scaffolding and hoardings
  • more time for moveable structures such as marquees and tents to be in place
  • more leeway on energy efficiency measures, particularly on the size of solar panels
  • increasing height restrictions on flat roof structures and extensions.
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