The government has revealed plans for a complete overhaul of the planning system to let construction drive the country’s economic recovery.


As part of its strategy to help the country recover in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced this week “the most radical reforms of our planning system since the end of the Second World War” that will come into force by September, as reported by Construction News.

These include:

  • Builders will no longer need to submit planning application to demolish and rebuild “vacant and redundant” residential or commercial buildings if they are rebuilt as homes
  • A wide range of commercial buildings will be allowed to be converted into residential buildings without planning permission
  • Commercial premises will be able to be reclassified more easily as other types of building. For example, shops can become cafés or offices without having to gain planning permission
  • Homeowners will also be granted a permitted development right to extend their existing homes upwards, “subject to neighbour consultation”.

Full details on the new planning system will be released this month.


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