Relaxed Planning Permissions Under New Laws

August 14th, 2020

New rules allowing homeowners and landlords to extend their homes and convert unused shops

As of September, homeowners will be able to “fast track” their home extensions, ministers have said.

The new laws cut waiting times from 16 weeks to just eight and form part of plans to modernise the current “outdated” system. Not only that but the new proposals also mean that shops no longer in use can be converted into housing without a full planning application.

The idea is that unused commercial properties can be quickly switched into homes to support the need for housing and ideally boost high streets too. Great news for highstreets that now stand empty due to the rise of online shopping but sad because it could spell the end of our beloved highstreet. Perhaps for a future article?

Speaking to the Sun Newspaper, housing secretary Robert Jenrick said he hoped the powers would be used to add space for elderly relatives or bedrooms for growing families.

“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,” he said.

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

The Two Story Extension Law

One of the biggest changes in the news rules will allow families to build upwards without months of paperwork but there has been a lot of concerns over this.

Local Government Association housing spokesman David Renard, said: “The planning system is not a barrier to housebuilding with nine in 10 planning applications approved by councils.

Neighbours have the right to comment on a development and “should not be exposed to the potential of unsightly large-scale unsuitable extensions being built unchallenged and without scrutiny in their communities,” he said.

Mr Renard added: “It risks giving developers the freedom to ride roughshod over local areas with communities having no way of ensuring they meet high quality standards, provide any affordable homes or ensure roads, schools and health services are in place.”

Under the new rules developers will still have to comply with building regulations and consider the impact on neighbours and the appearance of the extension.

But some are warning there could be problems down the line if these reforms are not carried out carefully.