Climb down on space standards for permitted development homes

New homes delivered through Permitted Development Rights (PDRs) will have to meet minimum space standards, housing secretary Robert Jenrick has said.

The announcement follows quality concerns raised by construction’s professional bodies, including the Chartered Institute of Building and Royal Institute of British Architects.

Jenrick said: “While homes delivered through PDRs have little difference in quality compared to homes following a planning application, a minority of developers have been delivering small homes without justification. The changes announced will put an end to this.”

The measures will mean that all new homes in England delivered through PDRs will in the future have to meet the Nationally Described Space Standard.

The space standard begins at 37m² of floorspace for a new one bed flat with a shower room (39m² with a bathroom), ensuring proper living space for a single occupier.

During the summer, the government changed the regulations to ensure that new homes delivered through PDRs provide adequate natural light.

PDRs allow existing buildings to be changed into homes without the need to go through a full planning application. More than 60,000 PDR homes have been delivered over the last four years.

Jenrick added: “While most developers deliver good homes and do the right thing, I’m tackling the minority of developers abusing the system by announcing that new homes delivered will have to meet space standards.

“Last month the government set out its plans to overhaul the outdated planning system, including new measures to place beauty and design quality at the heart of new development.

“Under the new system, communities will be engaged at the beginning of the planning process to shape design codes that ensure new developments are in keeping with the architectural identity and standards of their area.

“This includes the government consulting on homes delivered through PDRs being covered by the new local design codes.”

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  1. That sounds like a downward slide

  2. That’s great but I hope the trend over recent years for minuscule window opening sizes in new housing is properly addressed ( ie larger windows not just more smaller windows per dwelling). This is very noticeable when you see some new housing against older housing. Don’t want to hear the U value argument. This situation probably created by use of Autocad technicians by Developers in place of Chartered Architects.
    Peter Anderson

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