Upward extension proposals will encourage “innovation and efficiency” in the capital

18 Feb 2016

Policy area: Planning

The British Property Federation (BPF) has welcomed Government proposals to make it easier for developers to add upward extensions onto buildings in London, suggesting that it although it is unlikely to deliver a significant amount of new homes, it will help developers to think more innovatively and efficiently about the space above shops, offices and other residential property. 

The proposals were launched in a consultation today, with three possible ways in which a limited number of storeys can be added to existing buildings:

  • a London-wide permitted development right, with a prior approval, for up to two additional storeys, up to the roofline of an adjoining building
  • planning policies in the London Plan to support upward extensions for new homes
  • boroughs making local development orders to grant planning permission to extend upwards for all or part of their area, or for particular types of buildings

Melanie Leech, chief executive of the British Property Federation, commented: “Today’s proposals are not going to deliver an enormous amount of new homes, but could prove a helpful tool which will encourage innovation and the more efficient use of space. 

“Similar to office to residential permitted development rights, this is a policy that will show results in some areas, such as the outskirts of London, and be less helpful in others. Central London boroughs are unlikely to see much change as the number of listed buildings and conservation areas will prohibit large numbers of proposals coming forwards, however, outer London boroughs could see a rise in new residential property. 

“We are pleased to see that one of the options suggested allows local boroughs to make decisions using local development orders as in many cases, local boroughs are best placed to consider the most appropriate options for their area.”

ENDS

The consultation closes on 15 April 2016.