Rules laid out in Parliament today will also mean full planning applications will not be required to demolish and rebuild unused building as homes or commercial and retail properties.
The changes are set to come into effect by September and will deliver new homes and revitalise town centres, according to housing secretary Robert Jenrick.
Property owners adding more space to their homes will be required to consider the impact on neighbours and the appearance of the extension.
But it is hoped the change will reduce pressure on greenfield sites and deliver homes that fit the character of the area.
No remortgage boost
However, brokers are not expecting a significant boom in remortgaging for home extensions off the changes.
Rob Gill, managing director at Altura Mortgage Fiance, said: “With a relaxation of planning rules on one hand and a stamp duty holiday on the other, the government seem to be playing both ends of the ‘move vs improve’ debate.
“As with many brokers, Altura have certainly seen an increase in purchase enquiries to move since the stamp duty holiday was introduced.
“I expect this trend to continue, rather than see a switch to improve via remortgaging, for the time being at least.”
James McGregor from Mesa Financial added: “I didn’t think there were too many issues getting planning for extensions previously, so can’t really see this making a huge impact to the remortgage market.
“I think the loosening of guidelines for the commercial spaces will have a huge impact though. I can see a lot of shops and offices disappearing forever over the next couple of years.”
Pubs and libraries excluded
Pubs, libraries, village shops and other buildings considered essential to communities will not be covered by the new flexibilities.
It comes as the government will set out plans to reform England’s planning system to cut red tape and make building easier.
Jenrick said: “We are reforming the planning system and cutting out unnecessary bureaucracy to give small business owners the freedom they need to adapt and evolve, and to renew our town centres with new enterprises and more housing.
“These changes will help transform boarded up, unused buildings safely into high quality homes at the heart of their communities.
“It will mean that families can add up to two storeys to their home, providing much needed additional space for children or elderly relatives as their household grows.”