Planning magazine reports that a consultation from DCLG and the London Mayor sets out three options for "incentivising greater 'building up'" across London. It proposes that upward extensions could be built up to the roofline of an adjoining building through a new permitted development right (PDR), local development orders or London Plan policies.
Mike Kiely, Chair of the Board of the Planning Officers Society and also Chair of the Society's London Region, told a Planning reporter that if the PDR was put in place it would be unlikely to be used on a significant scale. He pointed out that permitted development rights to convert spaces above shops into up to two flats have existed for years, but said the right has not been taken up extensively.
Kiely also raised concerns about the proposals applying in conservation areas. "There is a duty in the [Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990] to consider the preservation and enhancement of a conservation area," he said. "And at a stroke they undermine it with [proposed] legislation." However, he said there was merit in the proposals to deal with upward extensions through policy and LDOs because "there may be certain locations where this is the right thing".