Householders wanting to extend and improve their homes should benefit from the changes to the planning system which came into force on 1st October 2008. The FMB, as part of its <%$Linker: 2 Internal 1 0 0 oLinkInternal ‘Save Our Lofts’ campaign Lofts - FMB Calls for Members' Evidence false /news/campaigns/lofts/ true false%>, has been actively involved in working with the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) about the changes to permitted development rights for householders as part of the Government’s current reform of the planning system. The FMB has benefited enormously from the outstanding work carried out by Jeff Atkins who has been instrumental in providing several detailed briefings to the CLG. Working alongside the External Affairs Department, Jeff Atkins and Brian Berry, FMB Director of External Affairs, have had several meetings with the principal civil servants responsible for drafting the new legislation.
The FMB’s work has focused on the proposed changes to Class B developments but the changes to permitted development rights for householders as outlined in new ‘The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (No.2) (England) Order 2008’, will mean that many home extensions will no longer require planning permission. This is obviously good news for householders wanting to improve their properties and for builders in the current economic climate.
What the changes mean
The new changes will mean that most householders will be able to build a loft conversion and a ground floor rear extension without having to apply for planning permission. In simple terms, a householder will be able to build a single storey ground floor rear extension provided that:
- The extension does not extend beyond the rear wall of the original dwellinghouse by more than four metres in the case of a detached dwellinghouse, or three metres in the case of any other dwellinghouse
- The height does not exceed four metres or three metres where it is within two metres of the boundary of the curtilage of the dwellinghouse.
In addition, a householder can also build a loft conversion provided that:
- The extended roof does not exceed 40 cubic metres in the case of a terrace house or 50 cubic metres in any other case
- Any enlargement, other than in the case of a hip-to-gable construction, would be 20 centimetres from the eaves of the original roof.
However, the changes to the planning system will also benefit those householders who have previously extended their home. Where a property has benefited from a single or two storey extension the new permitted development allowances will allow a loft conversion to be installed without having to apply for planning permission. Similarly, where a property has benefited from a loft conversion being installed most single storey extensions, and in some cases a two storey extension, can be constructed without the need for planning permission. The majority of projects will still have to comply with the building regulations and the relevant applications will need to be submitted. However, the relaxed permitted development allowances will help householders to avoid the long delays, inconsistencies and frustrations commonly associated with the planning process.
So what do the new changes mean to members?
At the current time it is of concern that some local authorities are seeking to stop loft conversions by choosing to interpret the Order in a different way to what we had understood the legislation to mean. The FMB is currently seeking confirmation from the CLG and is monitoring the situation.
The main changes are listed on the 'So what do the new changes mean to members?' page.