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Huge shake-up in planning rules

The UK government has announced some of the details of its massive shake-up in the planning rules for England.

From the end of August 2020, there will be a big extension in what is known as permitted development rights. These are about giving people the right, in principle, to change the use of a building, for example from an unused industrial unit to a residential dwelling. Details will still need to be approved by the local council - which will consider various aspects, including highways, flooding risks, design and appearance, as well as overlooking, privacy and light impacts - but in most locations, the council will not be able to object to the principle of what you want to do.

Another change coming into force from the end of August introduces a permanent right enabling many existing houses to be extended upwards to provide more living space by constructing additional stories.

Even more significant than these changes are the government's proposals to completely alter the way all planning applications are considered. Details are in the Planning for the Future White Paper, which can be found here. It's likely that these will fully come into force by the end of 2023.

If you'd like any help or advice with these changes, you can contact Planning Consultants via

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