News for Self-Builders

Have you been affected by the latest Planning Regulation changes?  The declassification of garden land as 'Brownfield' has meant house developments on large gardens are harder to get. Reported as being against 'Garden Grabbing' developers the new regulations have also affected homeowners. Retired people with large houses wanting to build smaller accommodation for themselves in the grounds are particularly hard hit as are people wanting to build granny annexes.  Local Authorities are still granting applications but have greater powers over the size and design of proposals.  Some authorities seem to be using these new regulations to take an anti-development stance even in areas where local densities would not be adversely affected. At the moment news is filtering back to us about the number of planning rejections and Appeals against Planning Refusals are just coming through the system.  We will be reporting back early in 2011 with the latest information and hope to have formed clearer guidelines then.

Other regulation changes this autumn have been the Building Regulations Part L revision regarding the energy efficiency in buildings.  This revision comes 4 years after the last and is part of a frequent revision sequence aimed at upgrading requirements for both new buildings and extensions to existing ones.  These changes reflect the improvements in building technology and the aim to have Zero Carbon new buildings eventually. EU directives also drive improvements and require that standards are reviewed every 5 years. We have a technical summary of these changes on our Building News page provided by Therm Energy Ltd.