Housing Minister announces boost for families and high streets as planning red tape is axed

Thousands of homeowners will be able to extend their properties quickly and easily without the need for a full planning application

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Thousands of homeowners will be able to extend their properties quickly and easily without the need for a full planning application, under rules made permanent today (25 May 2019).

In a wide-reaching package of reforms, rights allowing larger home extensions have been made permanent, following its introduction in 2013.

In addition, restrictive planning rules have also been axed, which will ensure business owners can respond quickly to changing trends on the high street.

Today’s news gives homeowners certainty to make plans to extend their homes this summer without a full planning application, while providing consideration of the impact on neighbours.

Under the rules, homeowners can put a single-storey rear extension on their property of up to 6 metres for terraced or semi-detached homes, or 8 metres for detached homes.

Over 110,000 extensions have been completed since 2014 under the previously temporary rules. Today’s announcement will mean more families can ensure their homes meet their specific needs.

Housing Minister Kit Malthouse MP said:

"These measures will help families extend their properties without battling through time-consuming red tape.

"By making this permitted development right permanent, it will mean families can grow without being forced to move.

"This is part of a package of reforms to build more, better, faster and make the housing market work - and sits alongside our drive to deliver 300,000 homes a year by the mid 2020s."

This step will make it easier for families to build outwards rather than go through the arduous process of moving to a larger home.

As part of the reforms, permitted development rights will also give business owners on the high street greater flexibility as they respond to changing trends in customer spending.

Shops will now be able to change to office space without the need for a full planning application, bringing skilled professionals and their disposable income back to the high street and help support neighbouring traders by increasing local footfall.

High Streets Minister Jake Berry MP said:

"This fantastic news joins our £675 million Future High Streets Fund and our High Streets Task Force in ensuring our country’s high streets are fit to thrive not just now, but in the years to come.

"Giving greater certainty to property owners and the wider industry, it will also help businesses adjust to the changing needs of the consumer."

The move builds upon changes to the law which allow business owners to change the use of buildings from takeaways to new homes without undergoing a full planning application.

To help deliver a greater mix of uses on the high street, the changes also allow the temporary change of use from high street uses such shops, offices, and betting shops to certain community uses such as a library or public hall.

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