Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Going up? Government opens door for more rooftop extensions

Claridge Architects's 14-home scheme on a rooftop in Queens Park, North West London - completed 2016
  • 2 Comments

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.’ 

  • 2 Comments

Readers' comments (2)

  • Is this going to be another piece of flawed crisis-management housing legislation - like the right to convert offices to flats without planning permission that many local authorities are now rightly asking Government to repeal? Or the excessive 6/8m deep permitted development garden extensions that were only supposed to be a temporary measure to 2016, to stimulate the construction industry, but which is still in place?

    Assuming two-storey extensions on top of the predominant 2-storey housing stock will not be included, the proposed policy will presumably apply to other situations where development control would, and should continue to, assess its suitability.

    This seems to be yet another example of Government tinkering to resolve the housing crisis rather addressing the root cause of it.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • John Kellett

    Extending upwards is, and always was, an option. It increases urban densities without losing gardens or increasing infrastructure unnecessarily. There are of course other ways to help solve the apparent crisis: move workplaces to where the housing is; utilise brownfield sites; use what the USA calls ADUs, and more flexibly. None of the solutions is the sole answer but a combination of them all can be.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.