To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make it his policy to require planning permission for a window to be inserted in an existing house wall which faces a window in a separate house and is less than 20 metres away; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Raynsford
The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 grants a general planning permission for a range of minor works of development to dwellinghouses, including the insertion of windows. In granting permitted development rights, we have to strike a balance between giving freedoms to individual householders to improve their homes, and protecting the amenity of neighbouring properties. We are not aware of any significant problems in the exercise of permitted development rights relating to windows and therefore have no plans to change these at the present time. We will, however, continue to monitor any representations received on this issue.