Dave Windle

This was a very general discussion on possible areas, where the existing planning laws could be relaxed to further the Government aim of encouraging development at any cost. Permitted Development Rights (PDRs) allow certain ¡§minor or uncontroversial¡¨ developments to go ahead without planning permission. PDRs have, in the past, certainly helped the explosion of hill tracks across our upland grouse moors.

The Government is considering how relaxing planning conditions could help, say, in improving mobile phone coverage in rural areas by allowing masts to be built without planning permission or in expanding the use of renewable energy by allowing solar panels to be erected without planning permission. A fine balanced will need to be found between desirable outcomes such as improved rural mobile phone coverage or increased use of renewable energy versus potential eyesores created without planning permission.

We replied, making the following general points:

The Government will now consider the responses before deciding to go forward on specific areas, which will involve a further round of consultation.

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