A government plan to allow flats to be built on top of existing apartment blocks without planning permission could see Britain’s cities turn into “rooftop shanty towns”, experts have told The Times.
A little-noticed document released alongside Philip Hammond’s budget statement last week proposes to allow owners of urban buildings to construct new flats on rooftops under a new “permitted development” rule.
Buildings would be allowed to grow to a maximum of five storeys without approval by the local council’s planning committee.
The move, which could revolutionise the planning system, has left analysts bitterly divided. A host of major developers and architects have called for “air rights” — an automatic right to extend blocks of flats upwards, which is common in American cities. They say that…
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