New legislation which comes into effect in September will allow homeowners in England to add up to two storeys onto their properties via a new fast-tracked planning process. The plan is designed to help to reduce the pressure on greenfield development sites and help to deliver homes which fit in naturally with the characteristics of the local area.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick first mentioned the idea of introducing a permitted development right to “encourage building upwards” in March and this was supposed by further input from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) which said the change would allow developers to “demolish vacant commercial, industrial and residential buildings and replace them with well-designed homes without getting delayed in a lengthy planning process, under new plans being consulted on by the government, meaning that more homes will be able to be delivered more quickly.”
This change will allow for quicker developments and less red tape for developers looking to develop residential property and help solve the demand for homes. Unused building can be repurposed or demolished much more quickly. This will mean shops out of use will be able to be converted into homes without a full planning application and there is hope that the need for housing will be more quickly dealt with when unused commercial properties can be used too.
Speaking on behalf of his department, Housing Minister Robert Jenrick said, “These changes will help transform boarded up, unused buildings safely into high-quality homes at the heart of their communities”. He also suggested it may mean that homeowners can provide for their wider family, with older children and relatives able to continue living in the family home as it is expanded.
Rules for Additional Storeys
Homeowners can add up to two new storeys on their homes without full planning permission, which can take up to 16 weeks. Now the process may take just 8 weeks and allow the building to begin more quickly. Local authorities will still need to consult with neighbours about the plans but there will be a reduction in the powers to block extensions, in the hope more homes can be built and more space provided.
Many property developers and homeowners will appreciate the chance to make more of their homes and provide more space for their extended families.