Minimum space requirements for new flats

Discussion in 'Building Regulations and Planning Permission' started by flavourvirus, 27 Jan 2020.

  1. flavourvirus

    flavourvirus

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    I've noticed some very small flats that are being built near me. These are the planning application drawings and this is the planning application. The application has been granted so presumably this is all legal, but I'm astonished at how small they are. 3 of them are 18.6sqm and walking past them they look more like shed size than livable space.

    I found something saying that minimum space requirements are 39sqm, but this has been dropped in London so there are different rules.
     
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  3. tony1851

    tony1851

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    What's the question?
     
  4. OwainDIYer

    OwainDIYer

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    You think that's bad? The planning requirements for Purpose Build Student Accommodation (PBSA) are even laxer.
     
  5. tony1851

    tony1851

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    Space standards for student rooms are smaller because it is accepted that the students will not spend long periods in their rooms, and they are only occupied during term time.
    Nationally described space standards for dwellings: cap space standards.PNG
     
  6. napoleondynamite

    napoleondynamite

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    This application was made under Government's permitted development rights which circumvent most planning requirements including space standards.

    This may change at some point as Gov are reviewing PD rights for residential units after a number of schemes which included horrendous units made it into the press- conversions from office which included flats which have no windows, tiny units etc.
     
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  8. tony1851

    tony1851

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    Probably mostly in London, where astronomic costs make larger flats uneconomic.
    But what can we expect when governments of both colours admit millions into the country over several years, so putting pressure on housing, while well-heeled Nimbies in the SE wish to preserve their open views of the Green Belt, while at the same time pushing up the value of their homes.
     
  9. napoleondynamite

    napoleondynamite

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    I think this one was a tipping point-

    https://www.theplanner.co.uk/decisi...o-windows-allowed-under-permitted-development

    Appeal: Flats with no windows allowed under permitted development


    An inspector has approved plans to convert an industrial building in Watford into 15 bedsits, seven of which would have no windows, ruling that the scheme met the requirements of the GPDO.

    The appeal concerned an industrial building in Watford that was last in use as an upholstery workshop. The building is single-storey, with a high dual-pitched roof. It has a mezzanine level, but no roof insulation.The building has only small, high-level windows at ground-floor level.

    The appellant sought permission to convert the building into 15 studio flats/bedsits under schedule 2, part 3, class PA of the general permitted development order, which allows changes of use from use class B1(c) (industrial) to residential.

    The flats would each have an area of between 16.5 and 21 square metres, less than half the minimum standard for a 1-bed flat, which is 37sq m. All of the upstairs flats and one downstairs would not have any windows.

    The council refused permission on the grounds that the quality of the accommodation proposed was so poor that the units could not be considered “dwellings”, and therefore did not benefit from permitted development rights.

    The council officer’s report noted that the units “would not provide any meaningful outlook, daylight or even appropriate ventilation”, and that upper-floor units “would have no means of escape in case of fire”. This “oppressive environment” would have “a serious impact on the health of future occupiers”, it concluded.

    Inspector Steven Rennie acknowledged that the proposed units were small, and that “living without a window would not be a positive living environment”.

    However, he noted, “the provisions of the GPDO require the decision-maker to solely assess the impact of the proposed development in relation to the conditions given in paragraph PA.2”.

    “The size of individual dwellings to be formed by the change of use and whether they would have windows/ventilation is not a condition of the GPDO” for the change of use proposed, he concluded. On this basis the appeal was allowed.

    "A low bar for homes"

    Peter Taylor, elected Mayor of Watford said: “We are very disappointed by this decision. We strongly opposed this sub-standard development, because it is the wrong building and location for a residential conversion - the living space is extremely poor, seven of the homes have no windows, there is no amenity space and residents will step out of the building onto a very busy service road.

    "It is a disgrace that central government has set such a low bar for the homes that people are expected to live in.

    "Councils should be given the powers to reject applications like these.

    "They should not expect their decisions to be overturned by central government, who are determined for councils to meet unrealistic housing targets at the expense of infrastructure and proper living conditions for residents.

    "We will continue to reject these type of planning applications as we expect more for Watford. So should our government."
     
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  10. tony1851

    tony1851

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    If Watford council continues to reject similar applications in the future, they could be hit with large costs on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour when developers successfully appeal refused applications.
     
  11. Nakajo

    Nakajo

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    While technically correct, the figure for total net migration is approximately 3m over the last 10 years, the minority (perhaps a fifth) being from the EU. Anyway, presumably that's all fixed now. Auf wiedersehen
     
  12. tony1851

    tony1851

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    It won't be.....
     
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