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Homeowners 'to be allowed to add two storeys without planning permission'

Patrick Christys
Sep 30, 2019


Having neighbours can be stressful at the best of times - whether it's all-night parties, noisy dogs, the odd argument over the dimensions of a gable wall, there's no end to things you can fall out over.

But what about if your neighbour just added two storeys to their house without getting planning permission?

And what if you then realised there was nothing you could do about it?

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Well, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick is expected to announce the new plans that homeowners could add two storeys to their properties without the need for additional planning permission.

The measures are part of a revolutionary overhaul of "outdated and bureaucratic" planning permission laws first revealed by The Sun.

It would mean that homeowners of detached properties could expand their current living space upwards rather than having to fork out huge costs moving.

Planning permission currently costs around £206, can take between eight and 16 weeks to get hold of and gives neighbours the opportunity to formally object to it.

The idea had been put forward by Mr Jenrick's predecessor Sajid Javid, aimed only at homes in town centres and would still require some planning approval.

But now, homeowners will be able to carry out the building work under permitted development rights.

It's the same set of rules applied to building single storey extensions and loft conversions.

At first, the rule change will only be applied to purpose-built blocks of flats before being extended to detached properties all over the country, reports the Daily Mail.

The new rules will hopefully help "second steppers" - those who are looking to move on from their first home - who are struggling to move up the property ladder due to rising house prices, stamp duty and a lack of housing.

Homeowners will still have to abide by building regulations though or else risk having the work demolished by request of the local authority.

Ministers are expected to argue that Britain's cities have one of the lowest average heights of housing in the Western world, and that building upwards will create a huge amount of living space immediately.

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Red tape will also be relaxed for developers planning to building homes on existing commercial sites, aimed at re-purposing high streets hit by shop closures.

Planning permission also won't be necessary for building homes on green belts where there is already some development, such as a train station.

Mr Jenrick will say: "I want to give families the freedom they need to expand their homes and ensure small developers get a fair chance to succeed.

"Our vision for reforming the planning system will speed up and simplify the process, while ensuring that communities still retain a say over their future."

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