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Planning law reform makes home improvements easier

New figures show that changes to planning law are enabling thousands of homeowners to make improvements.

Since last year, new permitted development rights have given people more power to extend their homes without having to apply for planning permission.

Data published on 2 October has revealed that in the three months to June, councils across the country received 7,700 applications for home extensions, 6,500 of which received the go-ahead without needing to go through the planning process.

The figures also show how permitted development measures to enable redundant office buildings to be turned into new homes were also being taken up, with 1,100 applications received by councils in the last quarter and 900 approved during the same period.

Planning approvals were at a ten-year high, with authorities granting 350,200 permissions in the year to June, two per cent higher than in the previous year.

Meanwhile, Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis has announced further proposed changes to planning law to support people who want to build their own homes.

Mr Lewis launched a consultation on proposals for a new Right to Build across England, which would enable anyone who wants to build their own home to turn to their council for help in finding a suitable plot of land. The consultation closes on 18 December.

In September, 11 local authorities began operating the Right to Build model on a voluntary basis to test how it will work in practice.