Have your say on 'upward extensions' in London

Monday 14 March 2016

London is in dire need of more property, but is also short on ground space. In order to address this problem DCLG and the Mayor of London are proposing changes to planning policy trying to make it easier to build upwards.

The proposals go further than the recent improvements which have already made the planning system quicker and easier, with the focus being on building upwards rather than outwards.

By doing this, it's possible to retain open spaces and parks, reduce building on green belt and make more efficient use of spaces around commuter hubs. Currently less than two per cent of of new homes each year are delivered by building upwards and this isn't sufficient to be able to keep up with increased demand for new homes to enable more people to live and work in the city. 

DCLG are asking people within the industry to submit their thoughts on the new proposals, which are based around three main options: 

  • Permitted development right for additional storeys in London

Introduce a new permitted development right for the development of additional storeys on existing buildings up to the height of an adjoining roofline (conditional on the additional space being used to provide self-contained additional housing units). Up to two additional storeys could be added, with the opportunity given for neighbours to comment on any proposals during a consultation period. 

  • Local development orders for additional storeys in specific areas

London boroughs could use existing powers to grant planning permission for specific types of development within a defined area and can impose planning conditions. They could incentivise development whilst targeting certain areas such as transports hubs and could require homes of a certain type or style to be built - e.g. more family homes, more homes for single occupancy, more affordable homes etc. The local panning authority would need to consult with the local community to consider the impact of proposals before introducing an order. 

  • Support in the London Plan

The London Plan already provides for 42,000 net additional homes per annum and rigorous new policies to higher density development in locations with good public transport links, opportunity areas and surplus industrial land. If this options receives support, the Mayor of London could bring forward new planning policies to encourage building upwards, creating higher density living in designated brownfield areas. 

DCLG are keen to stress that the three options are not mutually exclusive and a combination of the above might be the answer to easing the housing crisis in London. 

Closing date for responses is 15 April 2016

type of premises most suitable for upward extensions and their use classes, possible delivery constraints, and specific issues which may need to be considered by a local planning authority in determining an application to build upwards.


online via Survey Monkey

Email londonupwardextensions@communities.gsi.gov.uk 

Write to:
London Upward Extensions Consultation Team
Department for Communities and Local Government
3rd floor, Fry Building
2 Marsham Street

If responding in writing, please make it clear to which questions you are responding and whether you are responding as an individual or an organisation and include:

  • name
  • your position (if applicable)
  • the name of the organisation (if applicable)
  • Address, including postcode
  • email address
  • telephone number

Alternatively, if you'd prefer, you can email Tim Douglas, our own Policy and Campaigns Officer, directly and he will make sure your comments are included in our response as an organisation.