Going Up; fast-tracked planning process announced

The Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, has announced plans to introduce a fast-tracked planning process starting in September. The move towards Permitted Development will allow homeowners to add two-storeys to the height of the home without applying for full planning consent through their local councils. It will also remove the need for a traditional planning application to demolish and rebuild unused buildings in town centres and local communities.

The reformed permission process aims to transform British towns where there are boarded up, unused buildings to replace them with high-quality homes. The Government hopes removing the red tape will help to support the growing need for housing and transform town centres in the wake of the coronavirus lockdown. The change will also benefit families wanting to increase the footprint of their abode to cater for grandparents and children; this could allow older children to live at home with their parents until they have saved enough money for their house deposit, for example. 

What does this mean for buyers?

From September, the new Government regulations will allow buyers to add two further floors to a property without relying on their local council to approve their plans. This should allow buyers to relax their property search requirements and view properties that don’t currently meet their search criteria, as it will be easier to transform properties with additional floors and space.

As ever, buyers must carefully consider the impact any changes they make to a property will have on their neighbours and to ensure extensions fit in with the character of the local community.

What does this mean for developers?

Full planning consent will no longer be required to demolish or rebuild unused buildings as homes or commercial and retail properties, in a bid to reduce the need to build on greenfield sites, while still delivering homes that fit the character of local areas. The power of local councils will be restricted going ahead, in an attempt to improve the quality of life in town centres that have multiple unused or boarded-up buildings and support the growing need for housing.  

What does this mean for business owners? 

Cutting out unnecessary bureaucracy gives business owners the freedom they need to adapt and evolve, particularly after the impact of coronavirus on town centres. The reform allows business owners to repurpose buildings in their town centres to provide a better quality of life for residents through creating new enterprises and more housing. Pubs, libraries, village shops and other buildings essential to communities will not be covered by the new flexibilities, as they form part of the fabric of local areas.