The Government has announced a liberalisation in the planning regime for flying flags which will increase the number of flags that people can fly without express consent – a bit late for the nationalistic zeal displayed for the Olympics!

In response to concerns raised about the proposed extension of permitted development rights for householders to extend their properties up to 8 metres, Pickles has reminded councils that they already have the power to restrict such rights, by making an Article 4 Direction. However, Article 4 Directions can be fraught with issues and are used rarely by councils that do not have prolific conservation or heritage issues, which require this level of strict constraint and his comments are being met with hostility from already under resourced councils who envisage an onslaught of householders seeking to extend their properties during this period.

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