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New Planning Permissions – Homeowners can now add Two Stories

Music to all homeowners’ ears: there’s now extra space available for families to build on, two extra stories, to be precise.

New laws introduced on 21 July, 2020 allows homeowners to add two storeys without full planning permission. In addition, homeowners will now have a much faster approval process. 

The new rules, however, will come into effect by September 2020, but that hasn’t stopped homeowners all across the UK from rejoicing. If you’re planning to expand your detached property upwards rather than fork out the huge costs involved in moving, then this should certainly be music to your ears as well.


What else can I do without Planning Permission? 

Here are some of the things you can now do to your home without full planning permission. However, these changes are subject to certain building regulations and restrictions, which you can find here.

  • Add a single-storey extension measuring up to 4m x 6m
  • Add a single-storey conservatory measuring up to 4m x 6m
  • Move windows and doors as long as the motive is not to look directly into neighbouring properties
  • Move interior walls with the total footprint of the house remaining the same
  • Add a swimming pool as long as it’s not larger than 50% of the garden’s size
  • Add a porch up to 3m tall
  • Add outbuildings for using as backup office space
  • Garden decking if it’s more than 30cm above ground
  • Add a loft conversion of up to 50m3 for detached and semi-detached properties; 40m3 for terraced homes 

Current planning laws prevent homeowners from extending their houses above a certain height, depending on the how large and what type of property they have, of course. 

For instance, homeowners of detached and terraced homes having two storeys or more can add two more storeys, each up to a height of 18m. Single-storey homeowners can add one extra storey.

However, those looking to build single-storey extensions and loft conversions do not need planning permission – but the extensions need to be smaller than the measurements outlined above.  


Automatic planning permission approval for faster building

On 2 August, 2020 – the house secretary, Robert Jenrick, announced automatic planning permission in order to speed-up the building process. 

This, interestingly, comes after Boris Johnson promised to “build, build, build” as part of the £5 billion package to protect jobs and boost the economy, post-pandemic. 

Just to quickly reiterate, the government holds its position for allowing families to add two storeys without getting full planning permission from September onwards. Current laws do not allow homeowners to extend their homes above a certain height, but it looks like all this is going to change within a month or so. The new rules will apply to homes all over Scotland, England and Wales.

Mr. Jenrick was also quoted as saying: “We are cutting red tape, not standards.” 

Homeowners are now at liberty to also add value up to £62,000 to their homes in the form of a loft conversion. Garages can be converted into an extra room without any planning permission either. 



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