Chancellor 'mulls plan to let homeowners extend height of property without planning permission'

Reports that the Budget could include plans to 'let homeowners extend height of their property without planning permission' feature in today's newspaper round-up.

The Telegraph reports that chancellor Philip Hammond "is weighing up proposals to relax planning laws to enable houses and blocks of flats to be raised to the height of the tallest building or tree in the same area without the cost or delay of seeking council approval".

The Times (subscription required) reports that "transport chiefs want to create a tram link that will travel through four miles of tunnels" beneath Cambridge The newspaper says that "James Palmer, the Conservative mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, said the line would cost up to £2.8 billion and would be funded through a levy on housebuilding with investment from local businesses plus passenger fares".

The Times (subscription required) reports that umbrella body the Local Government Association (LGA) has said that Right to Buy has forced councils to sell off "enough affordable homes to house a population the size of Oxford in the past five years". The newspaper says that LGA "is calling on the government to use the budget later this month to allow councils to retain 100 per cent of right-to-buy receipts and give them more freedom to borrow to invest. They are also demanding flexibility to determine how they implement right to buy locally".

The Times (subscription required) also reports that the Federation of Small Businesses has said that the planning system should be changed to "ensure a supply of serviced sites with planning consent that small builders can build straight away". The body also said that small builders also need protection from "overzealous local authorities" seeking to increase Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) payments "to offset a government exemption from affordable housing contributions for small housebuilders".

Environment secretary Michael Gove "sought to further burnish his environmental credentials yesterday by announcing plans for a ‘green Brexit’ with higher protection standards than those within the EU", the Times (subscription required) reports. The newspaper says that the government "will launch a consultation early next year on its proposals for a new independent environmental watchdog with legal powers. It will also publish a statement of principles to guide environmental policy as Britain leaves the EU."


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