Skip to main content

Permitted Development: Urban Homes

Volume 744: debated on Monday 22 January 2024

21. If he will make an assessment of the potential merits of a permitted development right for urban homeowners to increase their property to four storeys where that complies with the local authority’s design code. (901085)

We have introduced national permitted development rights to allow a wide range of existing residential and commercial buildings to extend upwards by up to two additional storeys. We have also recently consulted on proposals to apply local design codes to those rights and further announcements will be made in due course.

May I urge the Minister to go further and faster on this? The permitted development rights would create beautiful urban townscapes and unleash the biggest wave of housebuilding in half a century, which would in turn cut housing costs to rent or buy, be greener by allowing people to live within bicycling or walking distance from work and protecting rural landscapes from urban sprawl and, by increasing the development potential of almost any urban building, be the biggest single act of wealth creation in decades. What’s to dislike?

There is absolutely nothing to dislike, as my hon. Friend indicates, about speeding up the planning system to ensure we get the houses we so badly need. As I know my hon. Friend will appreciate, however, there is always a balance to be struck: we must ensure that we take local people with us, but we are committed to building more houses, and doing so in the right places.