Families living in built up areas will be able to extend new homes in a government shake up of city living.

Housing Secretary Sajid Javid today (4 February 2018) confirmed government backing to create a new generation of town houses in cities like London and Manchester to ease pressure on valuable open spaces and help growing families.

Under the changes it will be easier to build upwards on existing blocks of flats and houses as well as shops and offices.

For example, an additional 2 levels could be added to a property – provided it was in keeping with the roofline of other buildings in the area.

It will ensure councils can protect valuable open space in inner city areas, maintain the character of residential areas, safeguard people’s privacy and stop unwanted garden grabbing. These developments must remain in keeping with the character of the local area, including the preservation of listed buildings and conservation areas.

Housing Secretary Sajid Javid said:

The answer to building new homes isn’t always an empty plot, or developing on a derelict site.

We need to be more creative and make more effective use of the space we already have available.

That’s why we are looking to strengthen planning rules to encourage developers to be more innovative and look at opportunities to build upwards where possible when delivering the homes the country needs.

Delivering development in built up areas is an important part of the government’s housing white paper proposals.

This policy will be included in the revised draft National Planning Policy Framework, which is due for consultation in early 2018.