Permitted rights law will hit conservation areas

From 6 February 2012, the Scottish government is proposing to relax permitted development rights for domestic property in the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Scotland) Amendment Order 2011, which was finally laid before the Scottish Parliament on 14 October.

However, in conservation areas, these rights will be virtually eradicated, including the right to improve the external appearance of a house, alter an external porch and improve or maintain gates, fences or decking.

Consequently, much tighter restrictions will be imposed than currently exist. Householders in conservation areas will therefore have to apply for planning permission for many such trivial works. Not only will this incur an application fee - currently £160 - but scaled drawings will have to be prepared.

Such costs, and the delay and uncertainty that will inevitably follow while the application is processed, will act as a further deterrent to folk buying and investing in properties in Scotland's conservation areas, many of which suffer sadly from neglect and disrepair. Not only that, but I also fear that planners will once again get a bad press for meddling in people's property rights.

David Eaglesham, Argyll.


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