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General Development Order

Volume 973: debated on Wednesday 14 November 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he intends to submit to Parliament proposals to amend the general development order.

I am considering what extensions can be made to permitted development to reduce the number of planning applications that have to be considered. I hope to issue a consultation paper shortly.

I appreciate that the arguments are finely balanced on whether more minor development proposals ought to be taken out of the development control procedures. However, if my right hon. Friend decides against excluding more minor proposals, will he bring forward speedier and simpler procedures for dealing with such minor development proposals?

I appreciate the sense behind my hon. Friend's suggestion. However, these are matters which we shall have to consider in the light of the response to our consultation paper.

As the Government, on several occasions, have expressed the view—rightly, I believe—that non-conforming development in residential areas can be a good thing, will they look very carefully at the general development order and recognise the effect that small industrial extensions can have on neighbours?