Housing plan ‘would create rooftop shanty towns across Britain’

0
18

The boutique developer FruitionProperties has built four flats on top of Messenger Court, a block in Putney, west London, after doing a deal with the existing block’s freeholder to extensively refurbish it at the same time The boutique developer FruitionProperties has built four flats on top of Messenger Court, a block in Putney, west London, after doing a deal with the existing block’s freeholder to extensively refurbish it at the same time

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…

Want to read more?Subscribe now and get unlimited digital access on web and our smartphone and tablet apps, free for your first month.Start your free trial