Barking and Dagenham Council is inviting views on its proposal to seek extra planning powers to prevent poor quality development.

The new powers would give local residents and Council planners the right to scrutinise developers’ plans for additional floors on existing buildings in residential parts of the borough.

The Council hopes that the change to what are known as ‘permitted development rights’ will allow them to intervene when applicants seek to build low quality or unsightly additional storeys to existing buildings. It will also enable the Council to insist that the developer makes a contribution towards social infrastructure, such as schools or affordable housing.

The new powers are known as an Article 4 direction under the General Permitted Development Order. They would compel developers to use the standard planning route if they are considering this adding floors and allow planning staff, local residents and other stakeholders to consider the quality of any proposal in terms of design, infrastructure provision and affordable housing contributions.

Councillor Cameron Geddes, Barking and Dagenham Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Social Housing, said: “We’re determined to raise standards of development in the borough.

“We are therefore seeking these extra powers to make sure we don’t end up with any eyesores, and to insist developers make a contribution to the local community, from affordable housing to infrastructure improvements.”

The Council has posted formal notices and has invited the public to comment here.

The consultation ends on 21 June 2021 and, if it is positive, the council will publish a confirmation statement setting out its intention for the direction to come into force on 22 February 2022.