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Following the changes george osborne announced to planning regulations in London

Following the changes George Osborne announced to planning regulations in London, under the ‘Fixing the Foundations’ document, Graham Chappell of nuspace was invited to the BBC 2 studio by Jeremy Vine – as an expert in the field of planning – to discuss the implications of the new announcements for homeowners in London.

The document states that “the government will work with the Mayor of London to bring forward proposals to remove the need for planning permission for upwards extensions for a limited number of stories up to the height of an adjoining building, where neighbouring residents do not object. In cases where objections are received, the application will be considered in the normal way, focussed on the impact on the amenity to neighbours.” (Fixing the foundations, p47)

The policy initiative would open up planning regulations to enable London homeowners to build up into their lofts to the level that their neighbour has done without the need for planning permission. By taking away the red tape associated with planning, building could be started within a matter of weeks as opposed to than the usual 2 to 4 to 6 months required for planning.

‘If it opens up the planning rules it will open up the market massively. Planning can take up to 6 months in some instances, so this could really speed things up,’ Graham tells Jeremy.  Fewer people are tending to move in London these days, ‘with the costs of moving, stamp duty, good schools and just because people like the area I think they tend to sit tight,’ says Graham, ‘so the new legislation would enable people to accommodate growing families without having to move.’

‘At the moment it’s quite vague,’ says Graham, ‘we’re not sure how it will be introduced and therefore it’s difficult to tell how it will affect the London marketplace. In principle it’s very good,’ he explains, ‘it will increase the density of homes in London, making more efficient use of the housing stock.’

‘Some people are arguing that it just makes bigger houses for those who already have houses, but it could enable some homeowners to take on lodgers and enjoy the tax breaks associated with that, as well as help other Londoners with more affordable rent,’ Graham adds.

‘There’s a hint that it might be possible to build to the rear without planning,’ explains the loft expert, ‘this would be pretty radical and interesting, particularly in areas in London where it has traditionally been difficult to obtain planning permission such as Lambeth and Islington, so it would really open up those marketplaces for clients who have really struggled in the past.’

If you’re struggling to interpret the new legislation, please get in touch with Graham and nuspace to discuss your property in more detail. Nuspace offer a free consultation of 45 minutes to an hour in which Graham or one of his colleagues – who have been in the industry for over a decade – can visit your home and assess the possibilities under the new guidelines. Nuspace are also an architectural practice with award-winning architects on board, and offer anything from fairly straightforward loft conversions to kitchen extensions right through to very radical projects to create something highly bespoke and unique. For queries please contact nuspace on 020 3405 3480.

To view the Fixing the Foundations document please click here.

To listen to Graham’s radio interview on BBC please click here.


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