Any port in a storm

Following on from Travelling light, here is another appeal case in which the inspector found reason to depart from development plan policy on internal space standards (DCS Number 400-027-903).

This case concerns an appeal against the refusal of planning permission for the creation of two additional units at a homeless hostel in west London. The units, the inspector noted, would fall some way below the adopted internal space standards in the local plan and would not be provided with any private external space. He also noted, however, that the local plan was clear that development would be required to meet the demands of everyday life for the intended occupants. 

The appellant explained that the units would provide basic emergency living accommodation, offered on a short-term temporary basis for homeless and vulnerable people. The inspector determined that these were relevant material considerations on which he placed substantial weight. He observed that each of the units would provide sufficient room for the occupants to sleep, prepare and eat basic meals, and wash. He found that this would provide a safe and secure environment to meet the demands of everyday life for the intended occupants. Even if occupants were to make use of the facilities for more than a short-term stay, he reasoned, this was unlikely to be comparable to periods of occupation more commonly associated with a C3 use where minimum space standards are of greater significance. 

Allowing the appeal, the inspector concluded that the proposal would not harm the living conditions of future occupiers having particular regard to internal and external space.

There is a section on accommodation standards at homeless hostels at 11.5327 of DCP Online.