NEIGHBOUR will be set against neighbour if planning laws are relaxed by the Government, according to Northwich Town Council.

Members are urging Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC) to take a stand against Government proposals, which would allow homeowners to build larger extensions without needing planning permission.

“We find it ill-advised and a recipe for neighbourhood disputes,” said Clr Derek Bowden, speaking at the November town council meeting.

The Government’s intention to relax planning rules in a bid to help the building trade and boost the economy has proved controversial, with a number of councils voting against the policy nationally.

Northwich Town Council has written to CWAC appealing for it to do the same but Steve Robinson, CWAC’s chief executive, has replied to say it would be premature move to comment on the announcement before the details behind it are known.

Clr Bowden said: “Is the chief executive suggesting we wait until this ridiculous law is implemented and then complain?

“A number of councils in the country have already responded publically.”

Clr Paul Dolan said: “If there’s enough provincial opposition to this and it’s across all parties saying this is a crazy idea and will set neighbour against neighbour among all sorts of issues I would have thought it would create enough pressure to reconsider.

“Being ultra cautious is not the best way.”

The proposals are for a three-year period in which homeowners can build larger loft conversions and extensions without planning permission in non-conservation areas.

The permitted length of extensions would double to 8m for detached houses and 6m for others, as long as the extension does not take up more than half the garden.