The government has recently issued consultations on planning guidance to make it easier to build upwards on existing blocks of flats and houses as well as shops and offices for example an office block could have a residential element built above. Sajid Javid the Housing Secretary has indicated that the government supports the creation of these developments and that such a development would help protect open space, increase the inner city density of residential occupation, help maintain the character of residential areas and prevent the unwanted gobbling up of gardens which has happened in the past. Any changes though would have to be kept in character to the local area.
This policy will include a revised draft of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which is expected shortly.
Melanie Leitch the Chief Executive for the British Property Foundation commented, “If we are going to successfully address the UK’s housing supply demand imbalance, it is critical that we find bold new ideas, making it easier to add floors to a property so that an underused house becomes several flats is a good example of an initiative which should encourage local authorities to think creatively about solutions in their area”.
QualitySolicitors Parkinson Wright have acted for clients in planning applications for the extension of buildings both outwards and upwards in the past and has been in discussions with developers for the conversion of former office buildings to residential use.
For additional information regarding planning applications for such works which now has the green light from the government please contact Douglas Godwin, Partner Rural Services on 01386 761176