New permitted development rights for homeowners to build upwards

Changes in permitted development rights announced by the government will allow upward extension on purpose-built residential buildings to create new homes without the need for planning permission.

This creates opportunities for both housing delivery and value creation, but the scheme does have its limitations as a result of the regulations owners must comply with.

Steven Cooper, head of development and planning at Cluttons said: “Technically, the new proposals will allow a much quicker route to securing consent for much needed additional homes without the necessity for full planning applications, assuming the applicant conforms with requirements set within the prior approval process. Buildings do have to comply with certain guidelines, with the upward extension being a maximum of two storeys a key marker and the total building height after the extension not exceeding 30m. Properties which are listed buildings or within conservation areas will not comply, while some neighbourly matters such as changes to daylight or sunlight will also come into play.

“Construction methodology and building regulations are also key considerations. Having the benefit a dedicated project consultancy team at Cluttons, we are already advising key clients on some pre-identified buildings which are under their control. Lightweight and modern methods of construction will no doubt enable speed of delivery, but it is important to calculate that additional storeys and weight do not undermine the structure and the fabric of existing buildings and fully comply with current regulations.”

Owners of detached blocks of flats will be able to extend their buildings by up to two storeys from August 2020.

For further information, please contact Steven Cooper or Einar Roberts.


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Einar Roberts

Partner, residential consultancy

T +44 (0) 20 7647 7128
Einar Roberts