Homeowners will be given more freedom to extend and improve their homes under new Government plans.
Under the new proposals, people wishing to extend their properties will be able to do so without planning permission. Full planning permission will be required only for extensions exceeding six or eight metres, depending on whether the property is terraced or detached.
The new Permitted Development Rights will also apply to commercial properties, such as shops and industrial units; a move which the Government hopes will encourage business growth and expansion to help boost the economy.
Businesses will be able to expand by 100 square metres and industrial units by 200 square metres.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: "This Government means business in delivering plans to help people, build new homes and kick-start the economy.
"We're determined to cut through the bureaucracy that holds us back. That starts with getting the planners off our backs."
Some people have expressed concerns that the rules could pave the way for a potential 'free for all' on building and developing, with little consideration for other residents or neighbours.
The relaxation in rules will not affect properties in protected areas, such as conservation areas, World Heritage Sites and areas of outstanding natural beauty.
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