Easing the rules in bid to Construct Recovery
Under current rules around, around 200,000 householders who extend their property or build a conservatory every year have to apply for planning permission.
The process can drag on for several months, even though 90 per cent are ultimately approved.
You are allowed to build a small single-storey rear extension or conservatory without planning permission, as long as it doesn’t extend more than three metres (9ft 11in) from a semi detached property or four metres (13ft 1in) from a detached home.
New rules, to be introduced next month, will double those limits to about 20ft and 26ft, provided it doesn’t take up more than hald your garden.
The relaxation of the rules will run for a limited period of three years, which the Government hopes will generate a short term boost to the building industry.
The changes mean that many proposed changes and projects currently bogged down in the planning process will get an instant go ahead. Work still needs approval by the council building control officer but they will only be checking that the structure is safe and meets building regulations.
Neighbours will have little right to object, unless work actually encroaches on their property. New rules will only apply to single storey extensions. Home owners who want to build a second storey or convert their loft will still need to seek planning permission.
Recent Changes to UK Planning Permission.
Homeowners in England will be able to extend their properties without obtaining planning permission under rules coming into force today.
The regulations will enable the majority of people to carry out loft conversions and extensions without having to obtain permission from their local council.
The government estimates the move will remove the need for around 80,000 households to seek official permission, saving them up to £1,000 in costs. An interactive guide has been launched so homeowners can check whether they are affected.
The new rules aim to strike a balance between freeing up homeowners to make improvements and limiting the size of an extension so that neighbours are protected.
Large and more intrusive home improvements, such as extensions going back more than three metres from the original property or loft conversions of more than 50 cubic metres, will still require permission.
Housing and planning minister, Caroline Flint, said: “From today people will find it has become much easier to convert the loft and build-on an extension.
“The changes the government has made will mean about 80,000 households a year no longer have to get planning permission.”
Other changes announced today mean that people putting in driveways or parking areas of more than five square metres will be exempt from planning permission, but only if they use materials that allow water to soak through to the ground.
The move aims to reduce surface water run-off and to help prevent flooding.
Recent changes to UK Planning permission proposals may mean you no longer have to battle your local planning system, however it is still important that you do your due diligence before attempting to put your plans into action.
There are still a few things to take into consideration including your current home insurance policy and whether it will be affected by your proposed extension. Effect on neighbours and lighting should also be taken into consideration along with which builders can be trusted to carry out the work you have in mind.
The Right Extension
Choosing the right type of extension can increase the value of your home, for example adding a double bedroom and ensuite could boost the resale value of your home by up to 25% according to some lenders, while a new bedroom without bathroom could boost values by 12% and a new bathroom could add 6%.
As a rough and ready rule increasing your floor space ten percent could add five percent to the overall value of your home.
Careful planning when adding more space is still key to achieving maximum returns on your investment. Adding extra bedrooms for example without the addition of additional WC can reduce the overall value of your home, while ill conceived or shoddy extensions may completely devalue your home or make it difficult to sell.
Making sure that any extension work is in keeping with your present building, street and overall area is key to a saleable home. A poor quality extension which is not in keeping with your present home and area may create an eyesore which will deter buyers if you come to sell your home in future.
Although it is no longer necessary to consult your neighbours regarding your project it is still a good idea to avoid nasty disputes further down the line. If a number of your neighbours are contemplating extensions it may be worth forming a committee to discuss the best way to move forward and ensure nobody does anything that may affect local property values.
If your neighbour is planning an expansion you may need to take the initiative and talk to them. If you have any objections, politely try to negotiate any modifications as you may no longer have planning laws to back you up in the event of a full blown dispute.
If you are doing up your home, your biggest enemy is a cowboy builder. The best way to find an honest and reliable builder is to ask family, friends and neighbours for recommendations. It is also worth getting two or three rival quotes to give you a good idea of what the build would cost. You should also request to see pictures or actual work from the builders including speaking to previous customers. Never pay for the full job upfront as if there are problems with the build the builder has less incentive to put right any issues if they already have your money.
Always inform your insurance company prior to changing the structure of your home as this may invalidate your policy leaving you to foot the bill should anything go wrong. Make sure your policy covers you for accidental damages. Many insurers will cover common mishaps such as minor damages or going through pipes as long as you are covered.
While many people endeavour to save money by doing some jobs themselves it is always better to consult the professionals when undertaking structural, electrical, plumbing or gas work.
The relaxation in planning regulations won’t help if you can’t raise the funds to finance your build.
In the present climate shopping around for your financing is essential. Most people will still visit their existing mortgage lender but they may be disappointed by the response. Banks and building societies are taking a tougher line than before although if you have spare equity in your home your chances are much improved. The response is obviously dependent on your lender. Whether you are intending to borrow from your existing lender or not you should warn them before you embark on any major work.
Any major works including knocking down walls or adding an extension, could affect your home’s value, and your lender will want to know about it.
How Can We Help
Established in 1983 BB Home design are specialist designers for kitchens and extensions. Using our existing contacts and experience we can ensure that your project is hassle free from the planning stages right through to completion. If you are looking to extend your home we can offer practical advise as well as planning.
So whether you are planning a new Kitchen Extension or just planning to increase the available space in your home why not contact us to see just what we can do for you.