RESIDENTS wanting to make their homes bigger without having to go through a formal council process can continue to do so.

Temporary rules brought in five years ago to make the job of extending quicker and easier have now been made permanent by the Government.

In May 2013, the Government relaxed planning laws to allow people to make extensions to their homes under a process called “permitted development”.

It meant people could increase detached houses by up to eight metres, and in other cases by up to six metres – providing certain restrictions were observed.

They were still required to notify the council but the process was quicker.

Barrow Borough Council saw 17 such applications in 2017, followed by 18 in the following years. So far this year, there have been four, the council said.

Neighbours still needed to be consulted but in the event of no objections, planning permission was automatically granted with objections said to be “rare” with most extensions granted by default.

A report to Barrow council’s planning committee has said that the legislation was due to expire on May 30 but has now been made permanent.

A report to the committee said: “Any such proposals will continue to be subject to the associated neighbour consultation scheme.

“This requires that the relevant local planning authority is informed of the proposed work via a prior approval application.

“This type of application continues to attract no fee but the authority is still required to process it within its general workload. We will continue to deal with these applications as expediently as possible.”