Government Relaxes Laws around Property Extensions

A formerly temporary right that gave homeowners the ability to extend their properties up to eight metres without formally seeking planning permissions has now been made permanent, amidst a package of planning reforms from the Government.

If you have been thinking of adding some extra space to your property, then this will come as welcome news, as the protracted permissions can now be avoided altogether. Under the new legislation, terraced or semi-detached homes may add a single-storey extension of up to 6 metres and detached properties see this increased to 8 metres.

Housing Minister Kit Malthouse MP said: “These measures will help families extend their properties without battling through time-consuming red tape.

“This is part of a package of reforms to build more, better, faster and make the housing market work – and sits alongside our drive to deliver 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s.”

Further to changes for the housing sector, business owners are also privy to favourable planning rules; shops are now able to change to office space without the need for a full planning application. These business reforms build on changes which now allow businesses to change the use of buildings from takeaways to new homes without the need for a full planning application.

Planning permission can equate to a minefield of red tape for homeowners looking to add space to their current property, often being a key factor in a decision whether to extend or not. Interestingly, 15% of Britons state that they are unable to remember whether they have the correct planning for amendments to their properties which could cause headaches when they decide to sell up and the requisite paperwork is demanded. With over 100,000 extensions completed under the previously temporary rules since 2014, an increase in home improvements could now be seen as sellers take advantage of the newly-embedded legislation.