Government to reform planning system in England

In Parliament today, 21 July, Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, announced new rules that homeowners will be able to add up to two additional storeys to properties to create new homes or more living space through a fast track approval process.

Plans and compass.jpg

The new rules, which come into effect by September, aim to reduce pressure to build on greenfield sites and deliver more homes that fit the character of their local area, without the red tape, by no longer requesting a full planning application when wishing to demolish or rebuild unused buildings as homes or commercial and retail properties.

The laws are expected to provide much-needed new homes and revitalise town centres across England. As well as reforming the seven-decade-old planning system to deliver more high-quality, well-designed homes it is said that it will cut out bureaucracy whilst protecting high standards with developers still adhering to the building regulations.

Town centres

High streets and town centres are said to benefit from the new rules as it will provide more space for new businesses and help them to adapt quickly to what consumers and businesses need.

These changes will help transform boarded up, unused buildings safely into high-quality homes at the heart of their communities. It will mean that families can add up to two storeys to their home, providing much needed additional space for children or elderly relatives as their household grows. Pubs, libraries, village shops, and other buildings essential to communities will not be covered by these flexibilities, recognising these form part of the fabric of areas.
Robert Jenrick.jpg
Robert Jenrick MP Housing Secretary

Supporting home building

The announcement builds on recent measures to support home building across England, including:

  • up to 180,000 new affordable homes through the new £12 billion affordable homes programme
  • allocating funds from the £400 million Brownfield Land Fund to the West Midlands, Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, Liverpool City Region, Sheffield City Region, and North of Tyne and Tees Valley to support around 24,000 homes
  • boosting the Home Building Fund with an additional £450 million, helping smaller developers access finance for new housing developments which is expected to support the delivery of around 7,200 new homes

Image attribution: "Robert Jenrick Official MP Portrait" used under CC BY 3.0 / Cropped from original