THE policy surrounding house extensions in Cheshire West has been updated by councillors — for the first time in 25 years in some areas.

Currently, around one in three of all CWAC planning applications are for house extensions.

It’s hoped that the new supplementary planning document — approved at today’s (January 13) council cabinet meeting — will make it easier for applicants to understand what is permitted in their area.

Cllr Matt Bryan, cabinet member for housing, said: “One-third of our planning application is about house extensions. Many of the applications are submitted without professional support.

“Our officers have wanted to get this in place for a while and we have been [collating] three support documents from legacy authorities into one document, which sets out to residents how house extensions can be done.

“This just effectively pulls together the best bits of guidance and puts it into an easily understood document.”

Before this document, CWAC planning officers had relied on planning documents from the authority’s predecessors.

Those plans included Chester City Council’s ‘House Extensions SPD’ from July 2006, Ellesmere Port & Neston Borough Council’s ‘House Extensions SPD from December of that year, and Vale Royal Borough Council’s ‘SPG: 3 House Extensions – A Design Guide’, which came into effect in July 1996.