Adding a two storey extension above your roof sounds great but is not without risk

We’ve been wondering what impact the new laws to extend homes upwards will have on Wimbledon’s leafy streets.

At the start of the week planning laws were changed aimed at adding more residential space and revitalise town centres across England.

The new rules, which will come into effect on 1 September, mean full planning applications will not be required to demolish and rebuild unused buildings as homes and commercial and retail properties can be quickly repurposed to help revive our high streets and town centres.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick believes this will help our high streets and town centres to provide more space for new businesses and help them to adapt quickly to what consumers and businesses need. The government’s press release is here.

Homeowners will also be able to add up to two additional storeys to their home to create new homes or more living space for growing families through a fast track approval process, with a requirement to carefully consider the impact on neighbours and the appearance of the extension.

He claims this will reduce pressure to build on greenfield sites and deliver more homes that fit the character of their local area, without the red tape.

Zah Azeem, Partner at Scrivener Tibbatts said: “Potentially this announcement could make a big difference in Wimbledon. In our experience however attempting this on your own without professional guidance can be risky and cost a significant amount of money to rectify if the extensions aren’t built properly. You might want to build up, but the value of your house may go down!”

Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said:

“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.

“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 2 storeys to their home, providing much needed additional space for children or elderly relatives as their household grows.

“Pubs, libraries, village shops and other buildings essential to communities will not be covered by these flexibilities, recognising these form part of the fabric of areas.

“Last week the government announced changes to ensure theatres, concert halls and live music performance venues are saved for future generations.

“Councils will need to take the temporary impact of coronavirus into account when considering permission for change of use, redevelopment or demolition of these buildings, and this will not change due to the new laws introduced today.

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