The great party wall debate


So, the party wall debate has been ongoing for quite a while now as the Government discusses the possibility of relaxing some of the planning permission laws, which would allow you to extend your home by 6 metres without needing planning permission. We thought we would gather some opinions and run a poll to see how you all feel.

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It has received mixed reviews from the general public, ministers and the home improvement industry itself.

Double Glazing Blogger teamed up with us for the poll – his results revealed that 88% of people said that the potential changes were a bad thing and would cause issues amongst neighbours. This was in slight contrast to our poll, as 50% of people thought it would be good for the home improvement industry and homeowners. 14% were undecided about whether it was good or bad.

Mark Warren, who works for the GGF said the changes would be “good for the industry, but bad if your neighbour wants to build an eye soar.”

Nigel Grant, who runs his own window company, said he was “probably for it. More work is more work!!”

Sarah Mitchell owner of Exeter Windows, Doors and Conservatories and also got involved in our debate, even writing this article about it. Sarah explains how it is not a simple answer and both sides of the argument have valid points, both of which she agrees with. Sarah’s blog explains her full opinion.

Localtraders had a similar opinion to Sarah, when asked what they thought about the change in planning permission, saying, “Mixed! It’ll be great for homeowners struggling to get permission to extend, but it may lead to more rogue tradesmen.”

There have been some slight changes to the proposal as the Government now allows neighbours who would be effected by any extensions to object the build. This swayed Listers Trade Frames opinion to, “it would be better for neighbours now they can object.”

Joe Martoccia, Sales and Marketing Director at Ultraframe Ltd said, “I just don’t get it? Why wouldn’t we want easier planning laws? Surely good for business? Check out the French model….robust, in place and working for all stakeholders!”

KJM Group Limited brought up this very valid point, “What will happen in the future if a conservatory was built that would require permission today, solicitors would want proof.”

There has been no final decision made by the Government as of yet, but it is still in discussion. What are your thoughts? We would love to hear from you.

The minutes from a recent Government discussion on the matter can be found here.

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