The Government had already spoken about their wish to bring “the most radical reform” to the planning system since the Second World War and on Tuesday 21st July 2020, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) released more detailed information about what this will cover.
Under the new laws which come into place in September, the same time as the Green Home vouchers, home owners will be able to add up to two new stories on their current property under a fast track approval process.
In a bid to reduce the pressure to build on greenfield sites, the MHCLG say this scheme will enable home owners to create new homes or add additional space to their own homes through these extra floors. By enabling people to extend their current homes up to and allow more space for children or elderly relatives the MHCLG believe this will deliver better suitable homes whilst reducing the need for larger new build properties.
The quick approval process will remove the “red tape” but includes a requirement for local authorities to “carefully consider” the impact on neighbours and the extension’s appearance.
The new laws also offers the ability to demolish and rebuild unused buildings as new homes, without full planning application and to quickly repurpose commercial and retail properties, to help revitalise town centres.
Although these rules, that come into place in September, are designed to help people “quickly” add space to or repurpose a property, the MHGLC have also advised local authorities to also consider the temporary impact of Covid-19 when deciding upon permissions.
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. 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.”
Shaun Stevens, Director of Prospect Land & New Homes commented:
“The new laws laid in parliament on Tuesday (21st July) reinforces the message from the prime minister of Build, Build, Build! The new rules, which include not requiring full planning applications to demolish and rebuild unused buildings as homes, as well as being able to quickly repurpose commercial and retail properties to help revive our high streets, could be a welcome change to the normal complex planning process.
Home owners will benefit from fewer planning restrictions to expand their properties with the possibility of adding 2 storeys to a home to provide more living space through a fast track approval process. A general overhaul of a 70 year old over complicated and frustrating system can only be good and will help individual home owners and house builders alike to provide the new homes required and space for growing families.
Fingers crossed these changes that come in to force in September are game changers in the whole planning process.”
The planning reform is exciting news and one that we imagine will spark a huge amount of home renovations the latter part of this year. Coupled with the Green Home vouchers too, home owners are bound to have a busy Autumn ahead!
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