Landlords can add more rooms to rental homes under a fast-track planning process from September.

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick has announced a major planning policy shake-up in a bid to get Britain building more homes.

The new rules cover landlords wanting to develop homes in England.

Jenrick’s announcement for landlords explains:

  • Homes are eligible for the fast-track planning process for projects including extensions up to two additional storeys.
  • This lifting of restrictions is hoped to encourage property developers and landlords to create more living accommodation.
  • Consideration is still required to the aesthetic impact of housing extensions, as well as any effects on neighbouring properties.

The measures also provide a platform to help the economy rebound, said the minister, adding the government hopes the initiatives will give a desperately needed injection of economic momentum; help the markets, and help employers get back onto their feet.

Under the new rules:

  • Projects to demolish and create new premises in place of unused buildings will no longer require full planning applications.
  • Eligible properties include commercial and retail premises.
  • The intention is to enact a rapid repurposing of such empty housing stock to breathe fresh life into high street locations.

Although restrictions on planning will give a new impetus to some property businesses, the new measures do not change building regulations.

“We are reforming the planning system and cutting out unnecessary bureaucracy to give small business owners the freedom they need to adapt and evolve, and to renew our town centres with new enterprises and more housing,” said Jenrick.

“These changes will help transform boarded up, unused buildings safely into high quality homes at the heart of their communities.

“It will mean that families can add up to two storeys to their home, providing much needed additional space for children or elderly relatives as their household grows.”