Temporary rules, introduced by the Government in 2013, that allow homeowners in England to build larger extensions without seeking planning permission are being made permanent, ministers have announced.
The rules mean that homeowners can add single story rear extensions of up to six metres to semi-detached and terraced houses and of up to eight metres to detached houses.
Since the rules were introduced on a temporary basis in 2013, 110,000 have added extensions to their homes that would previously have required planning permission.
However, homeowners cannot simply go ahead and extend their homes. Instead, they must notify the local authority of their intensions and the local authority will in turn inform neighbours. If concerns are raised, the local authority will review whether the plans would harm the character of the local area or affect people’s enjoyment of it. And if the plans are found to be detrimental to the local area, the local authority has the power to block them.
Kit Malthouse, the Housing Minister, said: “Families can grow without being forced to move. These measures will help families extend their properties without battling through time-consuming red tape.”
However, local authorities have responded to the news with scepticism.
Martin Tett, planning spokesman at the Local Government Association, said: “The planning process exists for a reason. We do not believe this right should be made permanent until an independent review is carried out of its impact, both on neighbouring residents and businesses, and also the capacity of local planning departments.