New rules to reduce pressure to build on greenfield sites and deliver more homes that fit the character of their local area have been cautiously welcomed by MP Bob Seely.

The new rules - which will come into effect by September - will mean full planning applications will not be required to demolish and rebuild unused buildings as homes and commercial and retail properties will be able to be quickly repurposed to help revive high streets and town centres.

Homeowners will also be able to add up to two additional storeys to their home to create new homes or more living space for growing families through a fast track approval process.

Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP 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.”

Mr Seely said: “I cautiously welcome these new laws if they will help to revitalise brownfield sites and protect our green spaces. We need some new housing, albeit in much smaller numbers than the Government suggests, but we must protect our green spaces as we build.

“These rules should help us to create homes in line with local need.  We need one- and two-bedroom housing for our young people and the closer to public transport links and amenities the better. The regeneration of town centres for housing fits with our local need.”

The government said it will set out plans this month to reform England’s 7-decade old planning system to deliver more high-quality, well-designed homes, and beautiful and greener communities for people to live in.