In the meanwhile

While our political leaders set out on the campaign trail little appears to be happening to address the situation in which poor-quality housing continues to be sanctioned under permitted development rights. Here is another example:-

In this appeal case (DCS Number 400-023-986) prior approval for the change of use of the rear section of a shop in Hertfordshire to residential was allowed despite having a floorspace of only 24.

The inspector recorded that “For the purposes of Part 3 of Schedule 2 of the GPDO a ’dwellinghouse’ can be a building containing one or more flats, or a flat contained within such a building. However, it does not stipulate a minimum floor area.” He acknowledged that the proposed floor area of 24m² would be small when compared to the DCLG: Technical housing standards – nationally described space standards, which stipulates a minimum gross internal floor area of 39m² for a one-bed one-person unit. However, he noted that the unit would have a kitchen and living area, shower and WC and a bedroom, and therefore would provide the necessary facilities for day-to-day living such as are required for cooking, eating, washing and sleeping, albeit in a restricted space. Therefore, he found that it would constitute a ‘dwellinghouse’ as required by the GPDO.

Right, so that’s 24 for cooking, eating, washing, sleeping, relaxing, studying, entertaining and storing all one’s worldly goods. Tsk.

Section 4.3423 of DCP Online sets out Part 3 permitted development rights and section 7.4338 concerns internal space standards.