Householders will be able to convert their lofts and build rear extensions to their homes without having to seek planning permission.
From next month, extensions of up to two storeys will be permitted as long as they extend no more than 10ft from the back of an existing property — enough for a small kitchen or spare bedroom.
Loft conversions will also be allowed without planning consent, as long as they extend no more than 20cm (about 8in) from the eaves of a property. They must also be no more than 50 cubic metres in size — roughly the equivalent of a room 18ft by 12ft. In conservation areas, loft conversions will still be restricted but single-storey rear extensions will be permitted.
The rules will remove as many as 80,000 householders a year from the planning system. About a quarter of all home development projects that currently require planning permission will be able to go ahead without formal authorisation from councils.