New rules on planning regulation, which will come into effect across England by September have been announced by Robert Jenrick, Housing Minister. These changes will mean that full planning applications will not be required to demolish and rebuild unused buildings as homes. In addition, commercial and retail properties can also be quickly repurposed to help revive high streets and town centres.
This will help high streets and town centres to provide more space for new businesses and help them to adapt quickly to what consumers and businesses now need.
Homeowners will also be able to add up to two additional storeys to their home to create new homes or more living space for growing families through a fast track approval process. However there will be a requirement to carefully consider the impact on neighbours and the appearance of the extension.
Government believes these changes will reduce pressure for property developers to build on greenfield sites and deliver more homes that fit the character of their local area, without needing inappropriate red tape.
Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP 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 2 storeys to their home, providing much needed additional space for children or elderly relatives as their household grows.”
It should be noted that pubs, libraries, village shops and other buildings deemed essential to local communities will not be covered by these new planning flexibilities, recognising that these form part of the fabric of areas.