Flat block owners to get right to add floors

Flat block owners to get right to add floors

The shadows are about to lengthen across suburbia. Property owners are to be granted new rights to install extra storeys on housing blocks without planning permission in a government push to boost homeownership that appears likely to provoke furious neighbourhood debates.

The scheme, which will begin this summer, is expected to transform the skyline of residential areas as owners are allowed to build upwards by two storeys without their designs being policed by planners.

Critics say the new right, announced on Thursday by the housing secretary, as a “bold and creative” measure, risks a new generation of substandard homes and raising tensions between neighbours.

Building upwards currently requires planning consent, which involves checks on how well designs fit with nearby homes and the potential overshadowing of neighbours’ properties.

The new right will “deliver new and bigger homes” and increase density “in line with local character and make the most of local infrastructure”, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said.

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