Scottish government simplifies home improvement rules

Published:  18 October, 2011

EDINBURGH: New rules are to be introduced in Scotland on home improvements that will mean many can proceed without planning permission.

The simpler planning rules will come into force in February 2012 and will take about 4000 applications out of the system each year, according to the Scottish government. Projects including extensions, access ramps, and garages will no longer need official approval. Tighter restrictions will still apply to listed buildings and those in conservation areas.

Aileen Campbell, planning minister has laid regulations in parliament confirming the changes. She said: "We are removing, in certain cases, the need for householders to get planning permission. "That frees people up to go ahead and make improvements to their homes and saves them money, while creating jobs for building companies and trades people."

Heads of Planning Scotland, which represents the country's directors of planning, has welcomed the change. Chris Norman, of Hops, said: "They [the new rules] strike a balance between the need to protect the privacy of neighbours and the appearance of Scotland's housing stock, while giving greater opportunity for householders to carry out small-scale works to their home without the need for planning permission."

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