New measures to be set out by the Government at some point today will explain how the current planning laws are set to be relaxed, by quite a wide margin, to help boost the economy by helping new homes to be built, and for extensions, conservatories and loft conversions to be granted permitted development and bypass the planning system.

There’s hasn’t much been much detailed about the new measures so far, but we do know a few items of the measures so far, and they are significant changes:

  • relaxation of laws thought to be for a three year period, though the length of time laws will be relaxed is still to be decided
  • semi-detached householders to be allowed to build extensions/conservatories up to 6m without planning
  • detached householders to be allowed to build extensions/conservatories up to 8m without planning
  • loft extensions/conversions to be allowed without planning
  • £300m to be provided to build 15,000 new affordable homes and bring back 5000 disused homes back to livable standard
  • A new “major infrastructure fast-track” for big projects
  • Though planning laws are being relaxed, the rule about the building not being bigger than half the size of the garden will remain

Off those details above, the clear one which is going to give our industry the biggest boost of the massive increase on the sizes of extensions and conservatories which are allowed to be built without planning permission. These new buildings would all be put through permitted development and will mean that the 8-12 week wait (depending on the council) would be bypassed and the customer can get on with the build straight away.

The whole point of these new measures is to help boost the economy by getting the country building again. This is clearly going to be welcomed by anyone who is in the building trade and the home improvement trade. But one hiccup I can see is going to be with neighbours. With planning permissions, it gave neighbours a chance to complain against the project if they thought it was going to be detrimental to them. Lets face it, if you suddenly have a 7m two storey extension popping up next door and it blocking up all the sunlight and getting rid of your privacy, you’re not going to be happy! But it seems the Government has considered this a less important issue and put the economy first. Which I think in the long run is the right decision.

We are still waiting for more information from the Government on these measures so as soon as I have it I’ll update this post as and when!