Permitted development rights: the latest updates on extensions

There have been some exciting changes to Permitted Development Rights in the past month, here's what you need to know

Up Architects Kebony extension of a South London home
(Image credit: Adam Scott)

It’s safe to say that Covid-19 rocked the boat for many homeowners. Whether you were looking to sell, buy, renovate or extend, the best next steps to push any home improvement plans forward weren’t clear. 

However, we’ve seen some interesting movements and updates in Permitted Development Rights since last month. Two storey extensions will be given fast- track planning approval, planning for extensions to blocks of flats (both up and out) will be relaxed, and steps are being taken to enable small scale self build developments. And, with some changes coming into effect as early as 1st August, it’s exciting times ahead. 

What does this mean for homeowners? It means you can get back to finalising house renovation plans and the like. But, these changes aren't just going to have a positive impact on those actually extending. 

With loosened planning restrictions around demolishing unused buildings, it means that towns may see the creation of more homes and small businesses too, which is likely to take some pressure off the housing market, giving hope to those looking for a comfortable place to live. Rest assured that the appearance of the homes is a great consideration, so changes to towns and residential areas should only be positive and help grow our communities organically.

The latest changes to Permitted Development Rights

Residential blocks and can now be extended upwards, up to two storeys which is great news and likely to result in bigger, more comfortable homes. 

This currently applies to purpose-built flats only and will be rolled out 1st August, but it is likely to be considered for all detached properties in the near future.*

A fast-track approval process for double-storey extensions was announced last week, 21 July 2020, meaning that adding two storeys to homes will be made a lot easier, and quicker. All the usual considerations that come with planning a double-storey extension must still be considered, such as being sympathetic to the style of surrounding homes in the area, and neighbours' approval.**

This change will come into effect ahead of September 2020.

More freedom for self-build housing means that those wanting to take on an even more challenging home build project, will have more freedom to do so. The latest mention in the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government’s Planning for the Future statement, 'we will support those who want to build their own homes to find plots of land and provide help to parish councils and neighbourhood forums who wish to build a small number of homes to allow their communities to grow organically, providing homes for the next generation and those wishing to downsize.'*

*Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0

** Latest Government news to extend homes upwards

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