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    Growing trend among UK homeowners
    to ‘improve not move’

    arrow Back to news 17th May 2017

    A new report compiled by a construction industry analyst, Barbour ABI, in collaboration with the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) found that home improvement work increased across the board in 2016.

    A new report compiled by a construction industry analyst, Barbour ABI, in collaboration with the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) found that home improvement work increased across the board in 2016.


    The study recorded an upsurge of planning applications in every region and nation within the UK, except for Scotland. In the East of England in particular, there was a 14% increase in the number of home improvement applications for every 100 private residential homes year-on-year.


    London led the way out of all UK regions with 3.8 home improvement applications for every 100 private homes in 2016. At the other end of the spectrum, the North-East of England and Scotland featured at the bottom of the table, with 1.1 planning applications made per 100 private homes.


    London’s Kensington & Chelsea remained the best performing district for home improvement applications, registering 6.8 applications for every 100 private households last year. However, Cambridge was the biggest example of an area where homeowners are choosing to ‘improve not move’, registering the highest ratio of home improvement planning applications to home sales of any borough, despite having only squeezed into the top 70 for home improvement figures two years ago.


    Brian Berry, chief executive, FMB, said: “Demand for home improvement work is particularly vulnerable to dips in consumer confidence but at present, there’s no sign of a negative ‘Brexit effect’.

    “Indeed, the results of this year’s Home Improvers Report show that there was a 6% rise in home improvement work that requires planning permission in 2016 compared to 2015 in Great Britain and these results chime with the FMB’s own research.

    “Despite gloomy predictions from many economists in the run up to the EU referendum last summer, construction SME workloads have not only held up, they are in rude health.

    “Even as we approached Article 50 being served at the end of last month, the results of the FMB’s State of Trade Survey for Q1 2017 show that the construction workloads continued to grow and 50% of firms expect this trend to continue into the second quarter of this year.”


    Michael Dall, lead economist, Barbour ABI said of the report: “2016 saw continued growth of home improvement in areas expected, such as around the capital and other southern English regions.

    “However, it is encouraging to see considerable growth in the East of England with many of its boroughs making their way up the table.”


    Fortunately for most Sunsquare customers, flat roof skylights don’t tend to require planning permission for their installation. In England and Wales, skylights are exempt from planning permission, subject to the current limits and conditions stipulated by the government’s Planning Portal under Schedule 2, Article 3, part 1, class C permitted development.


    If the property you own is listed or in a designated conservation area, you should check first with your local planning authority before carrying out any work.


    As ever, if you have any queries regarding a prospective flat roof skylight installation for your home, please don’t hesitate to call our friendly, experienced sales team today or drop us a line using our online contact form.

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