THOUSANDS more families will be able to extend their homes more quickly and cheaply as laborious red planning tape has been permanently scrapped.
The Government has overhauled rules in England that force people to put in a full planning application for single-storey rear work – something that currently costs £206.
Alamy Homeowners can now extend their properties more easily in England
It means anyone who wants more living space but cannot afford a bigger pad can improve their home much more easily and cheaply rather than move house.
The rules cover single-story rear extensions of up to 4m high and up to 6m extended from the property on semis or terraced homes, while detached houses can get an 8m add-on.
These guidelines were introduced temporarily five years ago and more than 110,000 extensions have been completed since.
They were due to expire but instead were made permanent this week due to their popularity.
What help is out there for first-time buyers?GETTING on the property ladder can feel like a daunting task but there are schemes out there to help first-time buyers have their own home.
Help to Buy Isa – It’s a tax-free savings account where for every £200 you save, the Government will add an extra £50. But there’s a maximum limit of £3,000 which is paid to your solicitor when you move.
Help to Buy equity loan – The Government will lend you up to 20 per cent of the home’s value – or 40 per cent in London – after you’ve put down a five per cent deposit. The loan is on top of a normal mortgage but it can only be used to buy a new build property.
Lifetime Isa – This is another Government scheme that gives anyone aged 18 to 39 the chance to save tax-free and get a bonus of up to £32,000 towards their first home. You can save up to £4,000 a year and the Government will add 25 per cent on top.
Shared ownership – Co-owning with a housing association means you can buy a part of the property and pay rent on the remaining amount. You can buy anything from 25 to 75 per cent of the property but you’re restricted to specific ones.
“First dibs” in London – London Mayor Sadiq Khan is working on a scheme that will restrict sales of all new-build homes in the capital up to £350,000 to UK buyers for three months before any overseas marketing can take place.
Starter Home Initiative – A Government scheme that will see 200,000 new-build homes in England sold to first-time buyers with a 20 per cent discount by 2020. To receive updates on the progress of these homes you can register your interest on the Starter Homes website.
Before 2014, planning applications had to be made to local councils for this type of extension, which could take months for a decision and cost an upfront fee.
But extensions can’t just be slapped on willy-nilly as they will still have to meet building regulations and health and safety standards.
And larger extensions of between 4m and 8m for detached houses and over 3m and up to 6m for all other houses will still be subject to a neighbour consultation, which you you’ll have to notify your local planning authority of.
You can use a template letter on the Planning Portal website to do this.
Housing minister Kit Malthouse said: “These measures will help families extend properties without battling through time-consuming red tape.”
In Northern Ireland and Scotland you don’t need planning permission for single story rear extensions that are under 4m high and don’t go back further than 3m for terraces and 4m for other properties.
In Wales, single storey extensions must not extend beyond the rear wall of your house by more than 4m and cannot exceed 4m in height.
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If you’re hoping to get onto the property ladder, we’ve rounded-up six homes under £50,000 where single first-time buyers only need a £2,500 deposit.
But don’t expect it to be quick – it takes six months and 24 days on average to buy a home.
Although, sadly, new research reveals that young families are being squeezed into smaller homes as rents are hiked and landlords sell up.
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