Homeowners allowed to do house extensions without planning permission under new rules

Thousands of homeowners are given green light to build large rear extensions without planning permission as government changes rules 

  • Single-storey rear extensions of six or eight metres won’t need permission 
  • Rules will also allow shops to transform into office space without application
  • Measures were brought in temporarily in 2014 but are now permanent 

Thousands of homeowners have been given the green light to extend their properties without planning permission.

A change in the law will allow families in England to build six-metre single-storey rear extensions if they live in a terraced house and eight-metre ones if their home is detached.

More than 110,000 extensions have been completed since the measures were brought in on a temporary basis in 2014.

Now the Government has made them permanent thousands of couples across the country will be able improve their existing home if they plan to have more children instead of being forced to find somewhere bigger.   

A change in the law will allow families in England to build six-metre single-storey rear extensions if they live in a terraced house and eight-metre ones if their home is detached. File image 

It also means shops can be converted into office space or libraries and town halls without applying for full planning permission.  

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said restrictive planning rules have been axed, to help business owners respond quickly to changing trends on the high street.  

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

‘By making this permitted development right permanent, it will mean families can grow without being forced to move.’

Councillor Martin Tett, Local Government Association planning spokesman, said: ‘While we recognise building extensions under permitted development has been popular with home owners, the planning process exists for a reason.

‘We do not believe this right should be made permanent until an independent review is carried out of its impact, both on neighbouring residents and businesses, and also the capacity of local planning departments.’ 

‘The current process also means councils have limited opportunity to consider the impact of such extensions on the local area, because they don’t go through the full planning process.’

More than 110,000 extensions have been completed since the measures were brought in on a temporary basis in 2014. Now they have been made permanent. File image

More than 110,000 extensions have been completed since the measures were brought in on a temporary basis in 2014. Now they have been made permanent. File image 

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