If you need more space for your family or would like elderly relatives to have their own self-contained flat in your home, read on! The new rights to build two extra storeys on an existing property will come into force on 31st August 2020 in England only. The government has said the new rules are in being put in place to make it easier for homeowners to build more bedrooms for a growing family or for elderly relatives.
The changes will be allowed under what’s known as Permitted Development. This restricts the powers of local councils to prevent development going ahead.
While homeowners are likely to be happy with the news, it hasn’t been well received in other quarters. But the government has made it clear that anyone wanting to build upwards will have to carefully consider the impact on neighbours and the appearance of the extension.
This isn’t the end of the reforms. The government is expected to lay out even more significant changes to the planning system in a policy paper later on in July.
Below are the key details of the government’s Town and Country Planning Explanatory memorandum relating to development of an existing home. You can read the full document here. And of course, before starting work we strongly advise that you seek guidance from your local planning authority and building control body, whilst seeking professional advice where appropriate.
Permitted development right to extend existing homes by two extra storeys
So existing houses which are detached, semi-detached or in a terrace can be extended upwards by two extra storeys to provide additional living space by constructing additional storeys.
The right allows the construction of up to 2 additional storeys on the topmost storey of 2 storeys or more.
It also allows 1 additional storey on a detached house of 1 storey, above ground level.
Terraced house or semi-detached house
The ruling allows the construction of up to 2 additional storeys on the topmost storey of a house of 2 storeys or more.
It also allows 1 additional storey on a house of 1 storey above ground level.
Existing accommodation in the roof space of the existing house, including a loft extension, is not considered as a storey for the purposes of this right.
The right allows engineering operations necessary for the construction of the additional storeys.
Height and overlooking
The right is subject to a maximum height limit for the newly extended house of 18 metres. Where the house is in a terrace its height cannot be more than 3.5 metres higher than the next tallest house in the terrace.
To prevent overlooking, a window cannot be installed in a wall or roof slope of a side elevation of an additional storey built under this right. As with existing permitted development rights to extend or alter houses the external appearance of the materials used in the construction of the additional storeys must be of similar appearance to that of the existing house.
The right applies to houses built since 1 July 1948 (being those granted planning title under the current planning system) and 28 October 2018 when the proposal to introduce a permitted development right to extend existing houses upwards was first announced.
The right to build two extra storeys is subject to obtaining prior approval from the local planning authority. They will consider certain matters relating to the proposed construction of additional storeys. These considerations include the impact on the amenity of neighbouring premises, including overlooking, privacy and overshadowing; the design, including the architectural features of the principal elevation of the house, and of any side elevation which fronts a highway; and the impacts a taller building may have on air traffic and defence assets and on protected vistas in London.
The local planning authority is required to make a decision on an application for prior approval under the right within 8 weeks. The right does not provide a default deemed consent if the local planning authority fails to make a decision within this time, reflecting the significance of the matters under consideration including the potential impacts of the proposed development on the amenity of neighbours and on air and defence safety. If a decision has not been made within 8 weeks there is a right of appeal to the Secretary of State for non-determination of the prior approval application.
If you would like to find a properly vetted building firm for your two extra storeys why not get in touch. Either chat with us about the FREE service on 0117 916 7878 or contact The Better Business Group who operate the Accreditus Register on 01707 859900 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
And if you would like us to produce a quote for your project that you can check against the prices you receive from your builders then give us a call on 0117 916 7878 or find out more here. We can help you with the design too. See here.