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Double storey extensions could be allowed without planning permission

October 17, 2019

The government has announced plans to allow homeowners to undertake a double-storey extension without planning permission. We have asked the experts at the property advice website the HomeOwners Alliance to explain all.

According to our 2019 HomeOwners Survey, one of the biggest barriers to undertaking home improvement projects is problems related to planning permission, which affects 27% of homeowners – or 4.7 million people.

Something clearly needs to be done therefore to simplify the planning process.

So we were excited to learn of the government announced during this autumn’s Party Conference that homeowners will be able to add a double-storey extension to their homes without planning permission.

Currently, single-storey extensions do not require planning permission but fall under permitted development rights. Double-storey extensions still require planning permission.

But under the new plans, double-storey rear extensions could be allowed under permitted development rights.

Homeowners will still need to comply with building regulations but neighbours will not have a formal route to object and planning officials will not have the final say on designs. This has raised fears of a rash of unsightly developments.

The Royal Institute of British Architects president Alan Jones said the plans “allow projects to sidestep vital quality and environmental standards” while local councillors across the country have called the proposals ill-conceived.

Nevertheless, the move would make it easier for people to expand their homes to suit growing families and changing needs. In particular, the move would take away the cost, hassle and additional time spent seeking planning permission.

The government has not yet set out their plans formally so watch this space.

If you’re thinking of extending or improving your home find out if you need planning permission for your project with the HomeOwners Alliance Guide to Planning Permission.

For more advice on home buying, selling and improving your home, visit


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