Thank you for contacting me about permitted development rights.

I am encouraged that the Government is committed to delivering 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s. I firmly believe everyone deserves to have a place to call home, which is why it is vital that more housing is built, particularly in high demand areas, to ensure that this is a reality.

Reforming permitted development rights is one of several ways homes are being delivered in places that are seeing a growing need for housing while also avoiding building on greenfield sites. These reforms are also helping simplify the way our planning system works for those who use it, saving time and resources for planning authorities, developers and homeowners.

To improve housing density, a new rule is being introduced that allows residential blocks of three storeys or more, as well as terrace buildings in certain commercial uses and mixed use buildings, to extend upward to create new self-contained homes. A new right on demolition and rebuilding will support the regeneration of vacant and redundant buildings that no longer effectively serve their original purpose, support housing delivery and boost housing density. Further use class reform aims to provide a better mix of uses to reflect changing retail and business models, giving businesses greater freedom to adapt to changing circumstances and to respond more quickly to the needs of their communities. These measures will help create thousands of new jobs across the country as we rebuild our economy.

My colleagues in Government are aware that there have been a small number of misuses of permitted development rights, where there are homes made with little or no windows. This issue was also raised in the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission report. Under new rules, standard and quality restrictions will apply to permitted development rights.

It is important to remember many permitted development rights would fall under Part 20 of the General Permitted Development Order, meaning these are subject to prior approval on considerations such as safety impact, amenity of the local community and the area and on protected views, the appearance of the proposed development and whether there will be adequate natural light in all habitable rooms.

You may be interested to know that a new National Model Design Code is being developed to show how well-designed places that are beautiful, enduring and successful can be achieved in practice. A new consolidated Infrastructure Levy will look to extend obligations to ensure homes delivered through permitted development support new infrastructure. We should not forget that in the four years running up to March 2019, over 60,000 homes were delivered under change-of-use permitted development.

A Future Homes Standard for all new homes will be developed to ensure that housing quality and energy efficiency continues to improve across that country. The new Planning White Paper has laid out new ways to improve the speed and quality of planning services, remove unnecessary bureaucracy and protect our treasured environment and heritage sites.

Rt Hon Robert Goodwill MP