The Queen's Speech will be announcing the Government's new Planning Bill. Whilst some of the media reports might be speculating too much on a free for all, undoubtedly there will be new measures that seek to simplify planning and increase house building in areas across the country. Public participation will remain in planning, but residents need to be well-informed in order to get their voice heard.
The Government has announced further changes to permitted development rights. Shops can now change to housing, subject to prior approval from the Council. There are limited controls over what shops can change, with only those in conservation areas being subject to tests. There is a floorspace limit though
Securing planning permission for a house in the countryside is very difficult. One route can be through 'paragraph 79' of the National Planning Policy Framework, which allows houses in the countryside if they are of exceptional quality. But they are difficult; only two houses on this basis have been allowed at appeal in the last 10 years. So if you're thinking of this route you'll need the highest quality design, and the best case put at appeal.
We have a new video on YouTube - a quick guide to show you how to find out if your land or property is at risk from flooding. This is an important matter to consider if you're thinking of extending your property or building on a plot of land. You may need a flood risk assessment to show that you can build. Or the development you want to undertake might be ruled out by the risk of the flooding. Find out before you make what could be a costly mistake.
Permitted development rights were relaxed earlier in 2020 to allow extensions upwards to existing blocks of flats to provide additional flats. The Government has recently announced a change to the regulations that require fire safety for external wall construction to be an additional matter that must be submitted for prior approval.
Earlier this year the Government introduced new housing targets for local authorities, with numbers coming from a new algorithm. That saw greater increase in rural areas, prompting a backlash by many. This 'mutant algorithm', as it was dubbed, has now been changed to increase housebuilding in urban areas: an uplift of 35% will instead be applied to 20 cities and urban centres.
A House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) is where a single family house is used for more than one household. Up to a certain number that may still fall within the same use class as a dwellinghouse, but over three means that a change of use may occur. This can prove controversial with local residents, as this news article shows.
As the Government seeks to boost the building of new housing across the country, they are finding it runs into opposition - including from their own Ministers. The Home Secretary, Priti Patel, has become the latest Minister to object to a planning application for housing in her constituency, as this report explains.
Small investors, self-builders and individuals can be tempted to buy 'micro-plots': fields carved into parcels of land sold with hope value for housing. These rarely gain planning permission and this good article provides a summary. Take advice if you are interested in purchasing, or want to pursue a planning application or appeal.
New permitted development rights now in force that allow demolition of some commercial buildings and also flats, and erection of new housing. You still need prior approval of details from Council, but it could be a big change for some property owners. See more here
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