in the know

Home owners in England permitted to add two extra floors..

Home owners will soon be able to add an extra two floors to their houses without needing full planning permission.

And developers will be able to knock down unused commercial premises and build residential units.

The government said the new rules would prompt people to build more bedrooms or flats for elderly relatives, and create additional apartments.

The changes will be allowed under what’s known as Permitted Development.

This restricts the powers of local councils to prevent development going ahead.

The councils are appalled, saying the deregulation does not allow local people a proper say in the way their area looks.

But the government says it will mean redundant space can be quickly re-purposed to revive High Streets and town centres. It adds that if householders want to build upwards they’ll have to carefully consider the impact on neighbours and the appearance of the extension.