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No approval needed to build conservatories and extension

Friday 02 February 2018

New planning laws will make it easier for householders to add a conservatory or extension.

But the rules on loft conversions will be substantially tightened, meaning many more will need planning permission.The changes, outlined by ministers yesterday, come as thousands of families decide to enlarge their homes rather than face the soaring cost of moving.Under the plans, an estimated 100,000 homeowners a year would be spared the need to apply for official permission for a conservatory or an extension. But the new rules could wreck the hopes of many families who want to make more room by building loft extensions. These will be decided in future on their position on the roof rather than their size. More than 30,000 people a year who currently do not need planning permission will need to make expensive and time-consuming applications to their town hall and risk having their plans turned down. Planning permission can cost up to £1,000 to obtain and applicants can wait between eight and 16 weeks to get the go-ahead. The new laws also mean people in the suburbs would find it much harder to object when their neighbours begin large-scale construction in their back gardens. Homeowners in most areas would no longer need permission to put up solar panels or wind turbines, however. The reforms have been heavily influenced by a desire to cut the amount of time and money spent by local officials on planning applications.

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