5 September 2012

Posted by DMC on 9 September 2012 in Diary |

This was meant to be a quiet day after yesterday’s excitement . ‘ My lovely’ intended to go to London, taking advantage of the good doctors presence , but settled, in the end, for the Bishops Stortford. Michael I decided against lunching at the Cricketers and instead would lunch in the garden, weather permitting. In the end we ate inside as it was not really warm enough to sit outside.

One of the Prime Minister’s pledges, in this austerity climate, was to ‘get Britain building again’. In honouring this pledge it was announced today that homeowners would be allowed a two year period where they could extend and improve their property without seeking planning permission first.

It is common knowledge amongst economists and the construction world that the last thing to shrink in period of economic depression, is the construction industry. Generally the opposite is also true. The first thing to start the revival of productivity is the building industry. Obviously, if this idea works there will be plaudits all around. The upside of this idea is obvious but what are the drawbacks.? Under these new proposals homeowners will probably be allowed to double the amount of space that they can add to their properties, at present, without needing permission .

There is to be a long consultation on these proposals, beginning next week. If the new rules are approved they would come into effect by the end of the year.

If I can believe my source there are already a great number of cases waiting to be heard in the lower courts between neighbours, for one reason or another. Planning experts warned that the proposed “holiday” could lead to uncontrolled development and more legal action between neighbours. The chairman of County Homesearch said “allowing unchecked extensions could even detract from the value of neighbours property if it’s, of a low standard, ugly or not in is the keeping with the existing property”.

From your neighbours backyard to an event which could change the life of people living on this planet in a few years time, yet only warranted a few column inches somewhere in middle pages of the newspaper.

The event to which I refer is that, the Americans have just landed a craft on Mars which could really mark the beginning of space exploration. I recall Neil Armstrong’s classic words, on stepping foot on the moon 50 years ago;

“This is one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind”


Armstrong’s achievement in landing on the moon, to my mind, equivalent to the backyard problems between neighbours as opposed to the wider spectrum offered through the landing on Mars.

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