Plans have been drawn-up that would allow BBC bosses to make changes to the Eastenders set – without seeking planning permission.

Currently the BBC have to get the go-ahead from Hertsmere Borough Council before making any changes to the soap’s set, at their studios in Borehamwood.

It is said the planning process can put constraints on scriptwriters – who have to give plenty of notice of a storyline that might need a new set.

On September 11, the council’s executive gave initial backing to plans to implement a ‘local development order’ (LDO).

The order would allow changes to be made to the new Eastenders set – within certain limits – without the need to ask the council’s planners.

There will now be a period of public consultation – until the end of October. Subject to the approval of the full council, the order could be adopted by February.

But the terms of the order says the total developable area – on the ‘front lot’ site – must not be increased by more than 20 per cent of the existing set.

There are also restrictions on any increases in height – with buildings in the site’s two zones not permitted to be more than three metres higher than existing buildings.

The order would apply only to the ‘front lot’ area, which is being built on the site of the former staff car park at BBC Elstree.

It would be expected to remain in place for 30 years – but it could be revoked by either the council or the BBC at any point, with a 28 day notice period.

Meanwhile it was mentioned that this could be an approach taken at Elstree Studios, which is owned by the borough council.