§ Mr. Patrick Thompson
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what conclusions he and his right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for National Heritage, have reached on the response to last July's consultation paper on planning controls in conservation areas.
§ Mr. Curry
We accept that conservation areas merit protection from unharmful change. We aim to achieve this objective without unreasonable restrictions on house-owners or unacceptably increasing the workload of local planning authorities.
We have concluded that each planning authority should be enabled to identify conservation areas which merit additional protection and to introduce stricter control in those areas. We propose a new power for planning authorities to make a direction withdrawing "permitted development" rights for a prescribed range of development materially affecting some aspects of the external appearance of dwelling houses, such as doors, windows, roofs and frontages. There would be no requirement to obtain the Secretary of State's approval for a direction but authorities would have to publicise their proposals in 865W advance and have regard to the views of local people. We shall be consulting about the detailed arrangements but hope to include the new power in amendments to the General Development Order to be laid before Parliament as soon as possible.