Did you know that you can now extend your home up to 8m without planning permission?

Here is the latest on the so called 1-3 year trial revised Permitted Development rules for freeing up the Planning system & to kick start the UK building industry - still gossip at the moment about the potential householder permitted development changes being mooted: 
The planning profession is sceptical on the fairness of this and even how it would be implemented. Would this mean that after 12 months we/ our clients must all go back to 'normal' and have smaller extensions again? How easy would all this be for local authorities to administer? How would enforcement prove an extension was built during the 'amnesty'.

On the other hand, if this change is brought in at all, it could be very useful to create reasonably sized extensions within the new size range, which have been refused before. Alternatively it might be used as a bargaining tool on increasing relative sizes of replacement dwellings and proportion of garden take etc..

Related to this, another government 'initiative' being mooted is to penalise planning departments that are performing poorly on speed and quality.

Whether these are brought in or not, I think the greatest help might be more about the signals the government is sending to local planning departments both to approve more development and to speed decision making.

So, some more moves afoot to add to our armoury when negotiating with planning departments I feel or is this all 'pie in the sky' for yet another Government U turn when they get some 'real world' feed back from the people and professions at the sharp end of all this? 
I would not be inclined to hold your breath on this one - if they couldn't get the detail & phrasing right in the 2008 changes to PD what makes you think this latest 'aspiration for freeing up the planning system' will be any better?

Here is a quick guide FAQ recently published by the Telegraph...

What are the current PD rules?

Under the “existing permitted development” rules, single-storey rear extensions and conservatories can be constructed without planning permission as long as they do not extend more than a set distance beyond the rear wall of the original house.

What is the distance? 

No more than 3m (9.8ft) in a semi-detached home and 4m (13.1ft) in a detached property.

What is changing? 

These limits will be doubled to 6m (19.7ft) for semi-detached homes, and to 8m (26.2ft) for detached properties.

Will the changes apply to loft extensions? 

No – just single-storey extensions.

Aren’t single storey extensions allowed without permission within certain space guidelines? 

Yes. Technical guidance says that permission is not required if the extension takes up less than 50 per cent of the property’s “surrounding area”. It is unclear how the new changes being announced today affect this.

Do the changes apply to properties in conservation areas, world heritage sites or areas of outstanding natural beauty?

No. Permitted development rights are already more limited in these areas.

How much can it cost to get planning permission? 

Typically, it costs £172 to obtain a planning consent, with any further professional fees – such as architects’ charges – possibly running into thousands of pounds.

[4D Planning Consultants do not charge as much as regular architects, and we know how to get you planning permission unlike many architects!]

Why are the rules changing?

The Government wants to make it easier for people to develop their own homes, and remove the red tape around asking for permission for modest extensions.

When will the changes take effect? 

Possibly by the end of this year: the announcement is today and a consultation paper will be published as early as next week. There will then follow a six-week consultation period to cover any technical issues. The change will require a change to secondary legislation in Parliament.

Why are the plans limited for only three years? 

The changes are time limited to 2015. This is to ensure that they provide a boost to the economy, by forcing people to bring forward any development plans and start them in the next three years.

Could the changes become permanent? 

Yes. Ministers want to review the proposals after three years. Officials say “nothing would stop a successful policy being extended”. 

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