Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

Extensions boost for DIY retailers

Published: 12 September 2008
Revised planning permission requirements could create buzz of activity around home improvements as property owners opt to create more space in their existing homes.
Extensions boost for DIY retailers
The Government's announcement that new legislation will make it easier for property owners to extend their properties without first having to seek out planning permission should provide some relief for DIY retailers.

Government ministers say the law change will make it easier for people unable to move house because of the financial downturn to make changes to their properties.

The revised planning permission requirements also mean those undertaking the types of work covered by the regulations will not have to pay more council tax.

The laws come with certain safeguards for neighbours such as the construction of an extension must not be 'obtrusive'; local councils will have discretion to vary the rules, and people living in conservation areas will face tighter restrictions.

However, extensions can be built as long as the necessary health and safety standards are met and projects fall within the new guidelines.

The laws, which come into force next month, allow property owners to build a small kitchen or spare bedroom as long as they don't extend more than 10ft from the back of an existing property; loft conversions will be permitted without planning consent, provided they extend no more than 20cm from the eaves.

They also promote the use of permeable surfaces for a front garden, and driveways or parking areas of more than five square metres will be exempt.

Ministers claimed that the new laws will allow people to save up to £1,000.

The laws will remove around 80,000 cases from the system.

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