More shops could be converted into homes and extensions made easier in review of building rules

Takeaways and betting shops could be converted into homes more easily as the government launches a review of extensions, conversions and renovations.

In proposals to be formally announced on Monday, new freedoms to enlarge existing homes will also be outlined.

The idea is to make it easier to “build upwards and outwards, with new extensions and loft conversions”, the levelling up department said.

There will be “new flexibilities to convert shops, takeaways and betting shops into homes”, while the rules on extensions to commercial buildings and warehouses will be “eased” to “make better use of brownfield”.

It is suggested that red tape be cut to “enable barn conversions and repurpose agricultural buildings as opposed to building on the countryside”.

Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove said new homes must be of the “right type and targeted in the right places”.

They must also be built in “inner cities so that we protect our countryside”, he added.

Better use must be made of buildings that already exist, he said, so that empty shops and offices are not “gathering dust”.

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Shadow levelling up secretary Lisa Nandy criticised the proposals, describing the review as a “drop in the ocean compared to what is needed to fix the housing crisis”.

She added: “We don’t need more reviews or press releases, we need bold action to get Britain building.

“That’s why Labour has set out plans to reform the planning system to build the homes we need.

“We will restore housing targets, reform compulsory purchase rules and take the tough choices to back the builders, not the blockers.”

Labour is also promising to stop foreign buyers “purchasing swathes of new housing developments off plan”.

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