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 MPs debate homeowners' rights to extend

we have evidence of water companies charging anywhere from GBP 300 to several thousand pounds for something that is not actually legally required

Homeowners’ rights to build extensions and conservatories will be firmly in the spotlight during a debate at the House of Commons this Friday, 16th January.

Hosted by Mark Pawsey MP, the debate will centre on the costs and restrictions that are being imposed by water companies, preventing some homeowners from extending their properties.

In the past it was the responsibility of private households to maintain the sewage pipes on their land but from 1st October 2011 in England and Wales the responsibility for the majority of sewers was transferred to the water companies. As a consequence, water companies are forcing homeowners to seek their agreement when constructing conservatories or extensions either over a sewer or within three metres of a sewer.

While the initial idea was to simplify the process, some homeowners have found that many of the water companies are taking an excessive amount of time to respond and in some cases are charging two or three different administrative fees for granting permission. Quite often these fees can run into thousands of pounds. As a result this legislation is causing problems and delays for homeowners, making the whole process both challenging and costly.

This debate has come about following extensive pressure by Anglian Home Improvements, one of the biggest submitters of planning applications in the UK, as well as its industry body GGF (Glass and Glazing Federation). They are petitioning for water companies in England and Wales to adopt an industrywide code of conduct that outlines best practice for installing conservatories or extensions in cases where building work may be close to a sewer, in order to provide clarity for consumers who wish to extend their homes.

Mark Pawsey, Member of Parliament for Rugby & Bulkington, said, “I was pleased to be able to secure the debate regarding issues being faced by homeowners looking to improve their properties due to the adoption of private sewers by the water authorities.

“I fully support the changes in legislation in 2011 brought about by the very hard work of people including my constituent Pam Brockway of Woodlands Residents Association in Rugby but I think it only fair that set procedures, costs and guidelines are put in place to ensure that the water authorities act in a uniform manner when homeowners make applications to them to build near to recently adopted sewers.”

Shaun McAllister, Conservatories Operations Director at Anglian Home Improvements, said, “Anglian welcomes the aim of the 2011 legislation. However, there are unintended consequences that restrict and even prevent the opportunity for some homeowners to extend their property. In some cases, homeowners have obtained full planning permission for their extension or conservatory but are still not be able to extend and improve their home due to the restrictions and costs being imposed by water companies.

“The costs being imposed by water companies for securing their approval can be significant – we have evidence of water companies charging anywhere from GBP 300 to several thousand pounds for something that is not actually legally required. In addition, gaining approval can be extremely time-consuming and the process for application varies for each water company.

“Along with GGF, Anglian Home Improvements is calling for the development of a process that minimises costs and creates a consistent approach throughout the UK, similar to that of Planning Permission. We’re delighted that Mark Pawsey MP will be raising this important issue in the House of Commons.”

Established in 1966, Anglian Home Improvements is the UK’s biggest window, door and conservatory specialist. With almost 50 years’ experience, Anglian offers an extensive range of home improvement products, including double glazed and triple glazed windows, doors, conservatories, rooftrim and much more. To find out more and view the full range, visit www.anglianhome.co.uk

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Notes to Editors

About Anglian Home Improvements:

Established in 1966, Anglian Home Improvements is the UK’s leading home improvements company, with around 2,200 employees and another 2,500 sub-contractors. With almost 50 years’ experience of providing double and triple glazing windows, Anglian ensures it is ahead of the competition with a continuing research and development programme. Anglian offers an extensive range of home improvement products, including windows and doors, conservatories, orangeries, garage conversions, flat roofs and Rooftrim.

For more information about Anglian Home Improvements and its wide range of products and options, visit www.anglianhome.co.uk


For further information please contact:

Shaun McAllister at Anglian Home Improvements
0845 4373583
Shaun.McAllister@Angliangroup.com

or

Jacqui Green at JGMPR
07885 270349
Jacqui@jgmpr.com

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Anglian Group in the following categories: Home & Garden, Personal Finance, Construction & Property, for more information visit http://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.