Organisers, experts and exhibitors for the Grand Designs Live show have given a mixed response to the government’s planning reforms ahead of this year’s show.
The 2012 event will be at the NEC from 12 to 14 October and will give visitors the chance to discuss with experts the potential changes to homebuilding policy.
Under these new changes, homeowners and businesses will be able to expand and build much bigger extensions without planning permission, for a limited period of time, which should spark an increase in the rise of DIY home improvements.
“The announcement is an incredibly positive step for consumers and homeowners,” said Media 10 MD Lee Newton.
“The reduction of red tape obstacles and improvement in our existing and extremely complicated planning system will give way to a freer process where our visitors and exhibitors stand to benefit.
“Homeowners will be encouraged to undertake home improvement projects, without incurring the cost or lengthy delay of seeking planning approval, changes that will strengthen relations between communities and the trade and positively boost the self-build and home improvement market, as well as increase interest in shows like Grand Designs Live.”
Grand Designs Live ambassador George Clarke also praised the government planning reforms describing the plans as a positive kick-start to the economy which could improve the current housing crisis.
"I've always thought there is far too much red tape around small scale changes and additions to residential properties so I welcome the changes,” he said.
But not all industry experts think the reforms will have such a positive impact. Some architects and building regulators argue that the new reforms will see an increase in ‘DIY home improvements’, and as a result, a rise in poor design, build quality, extensions, and improvements which could potentially have a negative impact on communities surrounding some projects.
“While all the details are still to be seen, from an architectural point of view this reform won’t work well,” said Urban Design and Architecture practice director Paul Deakin.
“Most homeowners will employ a local builder and whilst some architects might be able to assist with the work most Permitted Development extensions would bedesigned and built by the small builder.”
Media 10 announced record visitor numbers for its latest Grand Designs Live show in London.
The eighth edition at Excel London from 5 to 13 May saw visitor numbers rise to 105,509 (pending ABC audit), up from the ABC reported figure of 81,937 last year.
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