The new planning law allows homeowners to add up to two storeys to their home under permitted development.1 The usual building regulations (including Fenestration Self-Assessment Scheme) will have to be complied with but neighbours will no longer be able to object to the development. Prior to the new law being introduced, many homeowners were ordered to demolish illegal extensions with many also receiving fines. This was the case for a resident of Hillingdon, who added a two storey extension to their house, increasing the value by approximately GBP100,000. Yet since they did not obtain planning permission, they were fined GBP8,000 and ordered to demolish the extension within six months.2 Ironically, the extension would likely have fallen within the new permitted development rules.
The new law would effectively remove the need for insurance where extensions that fall within permitted development are built. This may result in the need for additional building regulations and FENSA policies as homeowners may not require planning permission for their extension, they do need to abide by building regulations.
The option to extend a property without the need for planning permission may encourage families to remain in their homes where they may otherwise outgrow. As plans are no longer required to be approved by the local authority neighbouring properties may experience issues with encroachment and easements; for example, extensions could be built up to, or over boundary lines.
This may result in either access issues or a reduction in light to the neighbour with a serious lack of ability to object. An insurance solution can be provided for both of these likely scenarios. Conservation areas, areas of outstanding natural beauty and listed buildings may still be subject to the prior permitted development laws as have a responsibility to maintain the aesthetic character of these areas. Homeowners should consider that any property planning applications within these areas could be subject to additional planning or building consents, for example one Barnet resident in a conservation area was fined more than GBP50,000 and ordered to demolish both a one and two storey extension which they had added to a property without the correct consents.3
We can obtain bespoke policies to accommodate various scenarios which could arise due to the change in permitted development.
In order to provide a quote we will require the following information:
- Title register/plan
- Limit of indemnity
- Confirmation of when works were completed.