Under new permitted development rules, homeowners in terraced and semi-detached homes can put single story extensions of up to six metres at the rear of their properties without obtaining planning permission. Those in detached homes can extend by up to 8 metres.
Kit Malthouse, housing minister, said: “These measures will help families extend their properties without battling through time-consuming red tape.” However, Cllr Martin Tett, planning spokesperson for the Local Government Association (LGA), expressed concerns about undermining local planning departments.
The National Federation of Builders (NFB) welcomes this policy and encourages the Government to do more to relieve the workload that planning departments currently face across the country.
The greatest barrier to building the right homes in the right places is the planning system, where 42 per cent of minor residential planning applications and 75 per cent of major ones are subject to extension of time requests, environmental impact assessments or performance agreements.
Since 2009, local communities have also seen the size of housing sites increase by 17 per cent, which has shifted the focus away from small sites and infill within existing communities.
Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB, said: “We welcome changes to permitted development allowing existing homes to be more easily extended. This decision will help growing families stay in their homes and build for their future, instead of having to move out of town to find appropriate housing.”
Rico Wojtulewicz, head of housing and planning policy for the House Builders Association (HBA), said: “Despite developers agreeing to pay more for it, the planning process remains complicated, expensive and unpredictable.
“This permitted development reform will give planners more time to grant permissions for the right homes in the right places and encourage them to focus on allocating more small sites within existing communities.”