Recent Reforms: Planning and Change of Use

Homeowners can now extend their properties quickly and easily without the need for a full planning application.


The government has announced a wide-reaching package of reforms, with the focus on providing home owners with the chance to build large extensions – a temporary right since 2013 now permanent.  No longer will householders need a full planning application; instead it’s a simple letter to the local planning authority to allow them to understand if there will be any impact on neighbours – if not then 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.

More than 110,000 extensions have been completed under the previously temporary rules. 

If you are not sure if you can use the new rules then feel free to contact us.

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

Shops can now be converted to office space without the need for a full planning application. There is a good deal of small print around what changes can be made but at least this gives shop owners the chance to find alternative uses.

The government wants a greater mixture of uses on the high street, so 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.

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

If you need to know the details about this change please contact us.  You can also find us on Twitter and on LinkedIn to keep up to date with what we do.

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