Thousands of homeowners will be able to extend their properties quickly and easily without the need for a full planning application, under rules recently made permanent by the government.
In a wide-reaching package of reforms, rights allowing larger home extensions have been made permanent, following its introduction in 2013.
In addition, restrictive planning rules have also been axed, which,says the government,will ensure business owners can respond quickly to changing trends on the high street.
Under the rules, homeowners can put a single-storey rear extension on their property of up to 6 metres for terraced or semi-detached homes, or 8 metres for detached homes.
Over 110,000 extensions have been completed since 2014 under the previously temporary rules.
Responding to the extension to permitted development rules, Cllr Martin Tett, Local Government Association planning spokesman, said:
“Permitted development rules are taking away the ability of local communities to shape the area they live in, ensure homes are built to high standards with the necessary infrastructure in place and have resulted in the potential loss of thousands of desperately-needed affordable homes.
“While we recognise building extensions under permitted development has been popular with homeowners, the planning process exists for a reason.
“We do not believe this right should be made permanent until an independent review is carried out of its impact, both on neighbouring residents and businesses, and also the capacity of local planning departments.
“The introduction of the prior notification scheme as a result of permitted development for larger household extensions has led to an increased workload for planning officers and a loss of income. Any continuation of this must see councils properly resourced.
“The current process also means councils have limited opportunity to consider the impact of such extensions on the local area, because they don’t go through the full planning process.”