Home extensions set to be fast-tracked under new planning rules


Home extensions of up to two storeys are set to benefit from a new fast-track planning process.

Applicants must still “carefully consider the impact on neighbours and the appearance of the extension” under the shake-up, being presented to parliament today.

The new laws will also allow shops no longer in use to be converted into housing without a full planning application

It means that unused commercial properties can be quickly repurposed to support the growing need for housing and boost high streets.

Set to take effect in September, it means a traditional planning application will no longer be needed to demolish and rebuild unused buildings.

The government hopes tearing up the red tape will reduce the need to build on greenfield sites, while still delivering more homes that fit the character of local areas.

Libraries, pubs and village shops are among the buildings not covered by the new rules, due to recognition that they form part of the local fabric of areas.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “We are reforming the planning system and cutting out unnecessary bureaucracy to give small business owners the freedom they need to adapt and evolve, and to renew our town centres with new enterprises and more housing.

“These changes will help transform boarded up, unused buildings safely into high quality homes at the heart of their communities.

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“It will mean that families can add up to two storeys to their home, providing much needed additional space for children or elderly relatives as their household grows.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently made a promise to reform planning rules and said he hoped his programme of “build, build, build” would help the country recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.