Red tape removal plan to ‘turbo-charge’ housebuilding, tease Tories

The government has a plan to “turbo-charge” housebuilding – read on to find out what it is.

Under the scheme red tape will be snipped, apparently meaning existing homes can be enlarged and new builds erected on commercial sites without planning permission.

Also, and possibly contradicting housing minister Esther McVey’s announcement last month, building will be allowed on the green belt if there’s already some kind of development in the vicinity, such as a train station, or maybe a hairdressers.

The proposals have come from the minds of chancellor Sajid Javid and housing secretary Robert Jenrick, and are being unveiled at the Tories’ annual conference which is currently running in Manchester.

So, should it get off the ground, most homeowners will be able add two more storeys to their properties without having to make a planning application.

According to MPs Javid and Jenrick, Britain’s cities have one of the lowest average heights of housing in the Western world, and that upwards presents an opportunity for lots of new living space.

Meanwhile, housebuilders won’t need permission to demolish commercial infrastructure and replace it with new homes.

Jenrick MP said: “The bold changes to the planning process will make a real difference to people up and down the nation.

“All too often the planning system proves complicated, outdated and bureaucratic and is too complex and costly for people and small businesses to navigate. This is a barrier to building the homes that we need.

“I want to give families the freedom they need to expand their homes and ensure small developers get a fair chance to succeed.

“Our vision for reforming the planning system will speed up and simplify the process, while ensuring that communities still retain a say over their future.”