HOMEOWNERS will be allowed to build two storey extensions without planning permission, according to plans unveiled by the government’s housing secretary.

Robert Jenrick MP, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities & Local Government, announced the policy on Twitter on Monday.

The plan has caused concern across the country, with some heritage groups calling it ‘absolutely bonkers’.

Concerns centre on the ‘substandard’ building work that could result from any change to planning laws.

Mr Jenrick said the policy would allow families to grow their homes at the same pace as the growth of their family.

He said: “We are reforming the planning system making it faster and more efficient for everyone, from households to large developers, alongside giving families greater freedom to extend their homes to meet their changing needs.”

Purpose-built blocks of flats will be the first to be included when the changes are rolled out in January, with all detached properties to be included in the future.

The new measures will allow families to build up to two storeys under the same permitted development rights used for small extensions and loft conversions.

Labour’s Shadow Housing Secretary John Healey described the policy as ‘pitiful’ and criticised the Tories for having ‘no serious answers’ to the housing crisis.

Also in the plans, the government announced a new national design code that it says will ensure developers build ‘beautiful, well designed homes that people are proud to live in’.

In the coming months, the government said every local authority across the country will be expected to produce its own design guide which reflects their unique setting, character and history, while meeting the expected national standard.

Other announcements include more funding for ‘pocket parks’.

These ‘reimagined spaces’ will be used for children’s play areas vegetable patches and as spaces for community events.

The government has also launched a consultation on new building regulations that will pave the way for what it calls the ‘Future Homes Standard’.

The 2020 changes aim to improve the environment by cutting carbon emissions in new homes by almost a third.