Rooms with a view! Coronavirus legislation – Part 20 Class A

The government have announced plans to allow up to an additional 2x storeys of “dwellinghouses” on top of existing blocks of flats under Permitted Development Rights. This amendment is part of the Government’s push to boost home ownership and kick start the economy following the Covid-19 pandemic. It shows a clear intention to support this sort of development but we are still waiting on legislation to be passed for these new planning initiatives to take effect – anticipated later this summer.

The regulations are set out in the snappily titled “The Town and Country Planning (Permitted Development and Miscellaneous Amendments) (England) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020”.

The two additional storeys can be achieved via the prior approval process, therefore negating the need for a full planning application. Unlike other prior approval processes, the information requirements for this particular “permitted development right” are fairly onerous and akin to a full planning application.

However, the decision making framework is based on the new legislation and the NPPF, rather than the local plan and supplementary planning documents (SPDs). Therefore, on the face of it, there is no requirement to provide affordable housing or section 106 contributions.

This presents a possible opportunity to provide additional and much needed residential units within existing urban areas without the additional hurdles of local plan restrictions. It could also improve the viability of extensions due to the lack of financial planning obligations.

We have prepared a quick check list to see if this opportunity could apply to you.

  • Purpose built blocks of flats constructed between 1st of July 1948 and the 5th of March 2018,
  • The building is at least 3 storeys in height above ground level,
  • The extensions would not extend the building over 30m in height

If the above it applicable, get in touch today so that we can further explore whether a vertical extension will be available to you.

To discuss in more detail please contact James Dorey ( / 01242 509201)