Ministers have revealed proposals to make it easier to extend existing buildings vertically
Housing secretary Sajid Javid said the draft revised National Planning Policy Framework would support construction above homes, shops and offices, where it would be in keeping with the area.
The draft document, due to go out for consultation in the coming weeks, will include a range of policies developed since last year’s housing white paper.
It will propose allowing two levels to be added to a property, provided it remain in keeping with the roofline of other buildings in the area.
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.’
Developers welcomed the initiative.
British Property Federation chief executive Melanie Leech said: ‘If we’re going to successfully address the UK’s housing supply-demand imbalance, it’s 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.’
But she added: ‘Communities will only accept development at greater density if local services and infrastructure can adequately support the growing population of a particular area. Inadequate planning or funding of school places, healthcare or leisure facilities will inevitably create animosity towards proposed development.’