Plans in the last Budget to make airspace developments a permitted development right could result in the creation of substandard properties, according to a firm of planning consultants and architects.
Riëtte Oosthuizen and Simon Owen of HTA Design say that they broadly support the use of permitted development rights to boost housing supply. However, previous permitted development rights such as those allowing commercial to residential conversions have not always resulted in good housing design.
Oosthuizen and Owen comment: “There is a definite need for careful consideration of design implications relating to permitted development rights for upwards extension. Implications for roof and streetscape could be disastrous if there is a free-for-all. It is also important that there should be some consideration of existing residents’ amenity and, possibly, compensation for disruption.”
The use of permitted development rights in this way is, of course, most probably intended to allow the creation of more homes in a more economical way. It is difficult to see that some developers won’t seek to exploit that fact if these new permitted development rights are enacted.