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Planning red tape axed

Thousands of homeowners will be able to extend their properties quickly and easily without the need for a full planning application, under rules made permanent.

In a wide-reaching package of reforms, rights allowing larger home extensions have been made permanent, following its introduction in 2013.

In addition, restrictive planning rules have also been axed, which will ensure that business owners can respond quickly to changing trends on the high street.

The news gives homeowners certainty to make plans to extend their homes this summer without a full planning application, while providing consideration of the impact on neighbours.

Under the rules, homeowners can put a single-storey rear extension on their property of up to 6 metres for terraced or semi-detached homes, or 8 metres for detached homes.

Over 110,000 extensions have been completed since 2014 under the previously temporary rules. The announcement will mean more families can ensure that their homes meet their specific needs.

As part of the reforms, permitted development rights will also give business owners on the high street greater flexibility as they respond to changing trends in customer spending.

Shops will now be able to change to office space without the need for a full planning application, bringing skilled professionals and their disposable income back to the high street and help support neighbouring traders by increasing local footfall.

The move builds upon changes to the law which allow business owners to change the use of buildings from take-aways to new homes without undergoing a full planning application.

To help deliver a greater mix of uses on the high street the changes also allow the temporary change of use from high-street uses such shops, offices, and betting shops to certain community uses such as a library or public hall.

(Published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government: 25 May 2019)