Call for minimum standards for the size of dwellings

In reviewing planning applications during 2013, the Society has been struck by a very common theme, namely the shrinking of dwelling sizes proposed. This emanates in part from a desire on the part of developers to maximise profit by selling an extra dwelling or two in each development, and in part from the pressure from both market demand and central Government for ever more housing (and affordable housing) in the Southeast in particular.

Some of these proposals have been prevented by the planning process as overdevelopment, but some have not, leading to Epsom having a growing number of very small new build or converted dwellings. We are beginning regularly to see applications for houses and apartments which are simply inadequate to accommodate the reasonable needs of daily life. Additionally, evidence is beginning to emerge of the adverse impact on the mental and physical health of people living in such substandard properties.

We have therefore written to the Council and relevant Government Ministers, with copies to local MPs, Civic Voice, the Royal Institute of British Architects, the Royal Town Planning Institute, and the Town and Country Planning Association, seeking their action to  re-establish minimum sizes for various dwelling types.

You can see our letter here.