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Simplify planning regulations for private housing

Comment 1st July 2010

We recently planned to take a chimney breast out of a room – no chimney, only the residual breast.

we required:

1. A builder – necessary

2. A structural engineer – possibly necessary. 1 Degree, large salary.

3. An architect – only necessary because the engineer couldn't get the "necessary" permissions. Another Degree.

4. Building Consent. Local Authority: A reasonably well paid person with, one assumes, yet another Degree.

5. Planning Officer: see above.

6. Listed Building officer: see above.

That's 5 Degrees for one RSJ.

Whilst major projects should be regulated to avoid shoddy development, small works could be deregulated and the areas of operation of Officers 4,5, and 6 above amalgamated into one.

Idea: Reduce the level at which regulation becomes necessary, to cover major works only.

Why does this matter?

Reduces overhead on Local Authorities.

Reduces outlay on unecessary overhead on householders for small works – thereby leaving more to spend on private sector construction.

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