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new home extensions law

UPDATE: Automatic Permission to Build for Homes, Schools, Hospitals, Offices & Shops

Boris' promise to "build, build, build" meant that he would be creating opportunities for people to afford homes, the government now plan to disclose the immense changes being made to the planning structure for the first time.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said that the planning system was "outdated and cumbersome" and takes an average of 5 years to approve a new housing development, which is now creating a "generational divide" amongst young people who are struggling to get on the property ladder and homeowners.

Robert Jenrick also said that it’s a "once in a generation" opportunity to build the homes and facilities families need.


The government have announced a new rule that home extensions are set to be fast tracked under new planning regulations. Non-functioning and abandoned retail or commercial properties on the high-street will no longer need full planning permissions to be turned into flats or houses. The rules have been revised to speed up the process of new homes being built and repurpose properties quickly to reinforce the need for housing.

Homeowners are permitted to add TWO extra storeys

Homeowners will soon be able to add two extra storeys to their homes without a full planning application. Applicants are still required to "carefully consider the impact on neighbours and the appearance of the extension". In doing so the government hope that this will prompt people to build more rooms or flats for elderly relatives and reduce the need for building on greenfield sites.

When will the new rules be put in place?

The new rules are set to be actioned in September, meaning a full planning application will no longer be required to tear down and reconstruct unused buildings. This will restrict the powers of local councils preventing development going ahead. 

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick's plan to reform the planning system

"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 two storeys to their home, providing much needed additional space for children or elderly relatives as their household grows."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has recently made a promise to reform planning rules and hopes that his "build, build, build" programme will help the country recover from the outcome of the coronavirus pandemic.

To find out more about the "new laws to extend homes upwards and revitalise town centres" head to the government website.