Extending Permitted Development rights for homeowners – a summary

The government wants to relax planning permission on building home extensions. Are the proposals as disastrous as the Local Planning Authorities make them out to be? Or will the changes - if they do happen - make very little difference to homeowners and local growth?

The government wants to make it easier for homeowners to build larger single-story extensions to their homes without requiring planning permission.  In October 2012 they consulted on the detail which we have explained here.  Our man Martin Shankleman also blogged  – questioning whether this move is an end to red-tape or a cowboy builders’ charter?

In our response we support the government’s proposals, subject to a number of safeguards so that any building work doesn’t adversely impact neighbours and future owners. Our suggestions include notification at the start, not at the end of the building work, a review at 2 years and tighter restrictions on the size of the extension.  These will help to address the concerns that have been raised by others. Read our full response here

In our letter to the Minister, we stated our belief that these changes will have a minimal impact on the government’s desire to promote growth and help local builders. It is not the chore of getting permission that deters homeowners from building work; it is the cost of the work. If the government is serious about encouraging homeowners to improve their home, they would reduce or remove the VAT that is paid on building extensions. You can read more about our campaign to cut VAT here.

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