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 24m².
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 24m² for cooking, eating, washing, sleeping, relaxing, studying, entertaining and storing all one’s worldly goods. Tsk.