Building ‘upwards’ to become easier

Building ‘upwards’ to become easier

Changes to the NPPF to make it more straightforward to build above existing shops, offices and flats.

Housing Secretary Sajid Javid has confirmed government backing to create a new generation of town houses in cities like London and Manchester. Under the changes it will be easier to build upwards on existing blocks of flats and houses as well as shops and offices.

For example, an additional two levels could be added to a property – provided it was in keeping with the roofline of other buildings in the area.

The new policy is designed to ensure councils can protect valuable open space in inner city areas, maintain the character of residential areas, safeguard people’s privacy and stop unwanted garden grabbing. Developments must remain in keeping with the character of the local area, including the preservation of listed buildings and conservation areas.

Housing Secretary Sajid Javid said: “The answer to building new homes isn’t always an empty plot, or developing on a derelict site. We need to be more creative and make more effective use of the space we already have available. That’s why we are looking to strengthen planning rules to encourage developers to be more innovative and look at opportunities to build upwards where possible when delivering the homes the country needs.”

This policy will be included in the revised draft National Planning Policy Framework, which is due for consultation in early 2018.

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