British homeowners can now build larger extensions without planning permission.
The new rule, which follows temporary measures placed back in 2013 allows bigger single-storey rear extensions to be built without a full planning application.
Homeowners living in terraced and semi-detached homes may extend their homes by up to 6m, while those living in detached houses will be able to add even larger structures, up to 8m long.
The overwhelming success of the temporary measures which have so far helped more than 100,000 homeowners bypass the long and costly application process is said to be the reason behind the new rule which doubled the previous limits of extensions that did not require planning permission from the local authority.
Following the new rule, homeowners must still submit the proposed building plans to the council who then inform the neighbours.
If the new plans raise concerns, the council may still veto the plans for example, if the extension is likely to harm the character or enjoyment of the area,
The situation In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will remain as is, with rear extensions more than 3m or 4m long requiring a full planning application, which places higher scrutiny on the design and impact of the building.
The new rule does not undermine the rights of neighbours who will still be consulted with and can raise objections to extensions.
While critics call for an independent review of the possible impact on neighbouring residents and businesses, housing minister Kit Malthouse said “Families can grow without being forced to move, These measures will help families extend their properties without battling through time-consuming red tape.”