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Businesses and homeowners to ‘benefit from shake-up of planning laws’


Businesses and homeowners are set to benefit from a shake-up of the planning regulations under Government plans designed to boost the construction industry.


Prime Minister David Cameron and his Deputy Nick Clegg, have announced that the planning rules will be relaxed, meaning that fewer homes and businesses will require permission to extend their property.


Under the new system, businesses will be able to expand their shop by 100 square metres and industrial units by 200 square metres, without requiring planning permission.


Meanwhile, homeowners will be able to extend a domestic property by between six and eight metres, depending on whether the property is terraced or detached. Only builds above this level will then require planning permission.


The Government also intends to extend the FirstBuy scheme to help some 16,500 first-time buyers get onto the property ladder. Under this, would-be homeowners without a deposit could receive an equity loan of up to 20% of the purchase price.


Launching the shake-up, the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister 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. Getting behind the businesses that have the ambition to expand. And meeting the aspirations of families that want to buy or improve a home.’


The Government hopes the new measures, which are likely to be in place until 2015, will help to rebuild the UK economy.