The government has backed new planning rules which will make it easier to build upwards on existing blocks of flats and houses as well as shops and offices.
Housing Secretary Sajid Javid has confirmed the plans which he says will create a new generation of town houses in cities like London and Manchester to ease pressure on open spaces and help growing families.
For example, an additional two levels could be added to a property – provided it was in keeping with the roofline of other buildings in the area.
It will ensure councils can protect valuable open space in inner city areas, maintain the character of residential areas, safeguard people’s privacy and stop unwanted garden grabbing, a government statement said.
These developments must remain in keeping with the character of the local area, including the preservation of listed buildings and conservation areas.
Housing Secretary Sajid Javid said, “The answer to building new homes isn’t always an empty plot, or developing on a derelict site.
“We need to be more creative and make more effective use of the space we already have available.
“That’s why we are looking to strengthen planning rules to encourage developers to be more innovative and look at opportunities to build upwards where possible when delivering the homes the country needs.”
Building upwards has become a popular panacea for the housing crisis in cities. In November, research by Frank Knight found that as 41,000 new dwellings could be built in central London using rooftop development space, without altering the iconic skyline.