The Government has announced plans for a consultation that would revise planning policy to make it easier to build upwards on existing homes.
The Secretary of State for Housing, Sajid Javid, said that a consultation draft of the revised National Planning Policy Framework will be published early this year, and will include “building up” policy, alongside others, to make efficient use of land and buildings, and building at higher densities.
Under the changes, it would be easier to build upwards on existing blocks of flats and houses, as well as shops and offices.
An additional two levels could be added to a property, provided it was in keeping with the rooflines of other buildings in the area, Javid explained.
The proposals, he said, will ensure that councils can protect valuable open space in inner city areas, maintain the character of residential areas, safeguard people’s privacy and stop unwanted garden grabbing.
Javid continued: “The answer to building new homes isn’t always an empty plot, or developing on a derelict site. We need to be more creative and make more effective use of the space we already have available.
“That’s why we are looking to strengthen planning rules to encourage developers to be more innovative and look at opportunities to build upwards where possible when delivering the homes the country needs.”
Mark Hayward, the Chief Executive of NAEA Propertymark (the National Association of Estate Agents), comments on the plans: “We fully welcome any move to increase housing stock – the market is in crisis with a severe lack of available properties, which is pushing prices up and pricing first time buyers out of the market.
“The fact that this will enable existing residential areas throughout the UK to expand is especially welcome, as it should increase stock in the areas which most need it, rather than being confined to more expensive urban areas.”
What do you think of the Government’s proposals?