England: Tory plan to allow homeowners to add two storeys to homes without planning permission
Homeowners in England will be allowed to add two storeys to their homes without having to get planning permission, under new proposals unveiled by the Conservative Party.
Announced by housing secretary Robert Jenrick at the Tory conference in Manchester yesterday, the plan would mean homeowners of detached properties could expand their current living space upwards and people living next to properties in question will have no way of objecting to the plans.
Using the same legislation which monitors small-scale extensions, there will be no formal route to object for those who live nearby provided the building meets council guidelines and building regulations.
Purpose-built blocks of flats will be the first to be able to take advantage of the policy when it is rolled out in January, with all detached properties slated to be included in the future.
The new rules aim to 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.
Mr Jenrick said: “The bold changes to the planning process will make a real difference to people up and down the nation.
“All too often the planning system proves complicated, outdated and bureaucratic and is too complex and costly for people and small businesses to navigate. This is a barrier to building the homes that we need and it must change.
“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.”
Critics have suggested the policy will not help tackle the housing crisis with more new homes required to meet demand.