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    Home improvement planning
    applications on the rise

    arrow Back to news 6th April 2016

    Property owners across England and Wales are making increasingly looking to make significant home improvements, with a sharp increase in planning applications made in the last 12 months, according to new figures from Barbour ABI’s ‘Home improvers of Great Britain 2016’ report.

    Around 1.9 homes in every 100 in England and 1.2 homes in every 100 in Wales submitted planning applications for all kinds of home improvements; representing 17 per cent and 12 per cent increases on an average from the previous two years.


    On a regional level, London is the most popular for planning applications, with 3.8 homes in every 100 making a submission in 2015 – up 16 per cent from 2013-14.


    The report states London has “huge demand for housing, with a limited stock of new homes, high and fast rising house prices and a large proportion of the richest people in Britain”.


    The report also agrees with earlier surveys that indicate a ‘Can’t move – improve’ trend, with home improvement applications more prevalent in areas where new home applications have higher rejection rates.


    “It could well be that well-to-do people are both more prone to improving their homes and also more averse to new homes being built near them,” the report added.


    Did you know?

    In England and Wales, you don’t normally need to apply for planning permission to insert flat roof skylights into your home? As subject to the current limited and conditions within the government’s Planning Portal (Schedule 2, Article 3, part 1, class C permitted development, it’s possible to install roof windows including:


    • Any alteration that does not project more than 150 millimetres from the existing roof plane i.e. any new flat rooflights cannot project more than 150 millimetres.
    • Any alteration that’s lower than the highest part of the existing roof.
    • Side-facing windows with openings 1.7 metres above the floor below as a minimum (and must also be obscure glazed).


    Don’t forget Building Regulations


    Although planning permission for a new flat roof window is not usually required, building regulations cannot be ignored.


    By law, any building or structural modification work must be compliant with building controls which stipulate minimum standards for design and safety.


    Pay particular attention to Parts J and L of Building Regulations, as they deal with energy efficiency, thermal insulation and the protection of buildings against the threat of fire.


    A rooflight will often require approval under Building Regulations as the roof structure will often need to be altered to create the opening for the roof window. The roof structure may also need to be strengthened prior to installation if it’s unable to carry the weight of the new skylight in its current state.


    For more on the ins and outs of flat roof windows and planning permission, visit our detailed guide here.

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