Councillors opposed to Government proposals to relax planning laws for building extensions fear the move could lead to neighbourhood disputes and ugly developments.
A motion submitted by Liberal Democrat Councillor Corry Cashman will go before Aylesbury Vale District Council next week proposing the authority defy the Government and oppose the change.
The coalition wants to ease rules for three years, which would allow home extensions of up to eight metres without planning permission. The current limit is three to four metres.
The Government hopes the move will help boost the building sector, and ministers expect the ‘vast majority’ of councils to back the changes.
But Mr Cashman said: “If you were to increase the limit you would increase the potential for neighbour disputes, for poor developments, and there would be no chance for the planning system to regulate.
“Relatively small extensions can sometimes produce a lot of neighbour concerns. In some cases the planning authority can help to resolve cases of neighbour disputes.
“Some extensions can look pretty bad and be a disfiguring feature in the neighbourhood.”
Opposing the Government’s proposals would be a controversial move for the Conservative council. When previously questioned about the rules changes, Councillor Sue Polhill, cabinet member for planned development, said people should check with the council before starting work.
She said: “I know the Government is keen to speed up planning processes but this isn’t always in everyone’s best interests because we need time to consult parish councils and neighbours.
“We have to tread carefully because building work can have a huge impact, and dramatically affect other people’s lives.”
Councillor David Vick, Liberal Democrat, who has seconded Mr Cashman’s motion, said relaxing the law will not revitalise the planning market.
He said: “The issue there is the lack of affordable finance from mortgage lenders.”
Mr Vick said the current system provides a framework for plans and concerns to be ‘heard and appropriately dealt with’.
Mr Vick said: “By removing the constraints as proposed we may unfortunately see a significant rise in neighbour disputes and issues requiring costly post-build alterations.”
The motion, which includes a number of features, will go before full council on Wednesday.