There’s a planning application in Hockley to construct a two bedroom bungalow. The application number is 14/00807/FUL and the intention is to build in the rear garden of 28 Great Eastern Avenue but fronting directly onto Gladstone Road.
What’s interesting is that last month the council adopted policies about minimum floorspace in new homes. The floorspace in this application is below that standard, but officers are still recommending approval . The reason? The national government is going to enforce a national policy sometime in the future, which allow smaller homes. So much for localism! It’s also worth mentioning that there’s a general election soon- a new government might do something different.
The application will be passed unless at least one councillor calls it in to the Development Committee by Wednesday.
You can download the officers report here (it’s the third item).
This is the key extract from the officer’s report:
Policy DM4 of the Development Management Document 2014 refers to the
need for new dwellings to adhere to minimum habitable floor space standards
and a house with two bedrooms to provide 77m². Habitable floorspace
includes bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens but not hallways and
bathrooms. The proposed dwelling would be somewhat less than the recently
adopted figure with a habitable floorspace of 62m².
The preamble to policy DM4 also requires a floor to ceiling clearance of 2.5m
and the proposed section drawings indicate only 2.4m is achieved.
The Government has however proposed a national space standard as part of the Housing
Standards Review (2013) which differs from the standard that Policy DM4
seeks to achieve in several respects. The two standards are calculated
slightly differently with the national standard proposed to be calculated on
Gross Internal Area including voids, stairs and all rooms whereas the local
policy standard incorporates only certain ‘habitable rooms’. In some cases the
proposed national space standard would be less generous than the local
Government advice is however clear that, once in force,Local Authorities
will not be allowed to require a more generous space standard than
the national space standard. The proposed national space standard for a
single storey two bed dwelling would be 70m² and as the
proposed dwelling would have a gross internal area of 77m² it would be
compliant with this. It is therefore considered reasonable to relax the
requirements of Policy DM4 in this instance.