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Space Standards Introduced

Earlier this week the Government introduced yet another change to the planning system in response to the ongoing criticism about the quality of homes being delivered through permitted development rights. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) announced on Wednesday (30th September) that all new residential dwellings in England, delivered through permitted development rights, will have to meet the Nationally Described Space Standards. Speaking about the new requirements, Rt Hon Robert Jenrick said that permitted development rights are helping to deliver new homes and make an important contribution to the economy. The Coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the importance of having somewhere secure and comfortable to live.

The requirement to meet space standards builds on the introduction of new legislation in the summer to ensure that new homes delivered through permitted development allow adequate natural light provision to all habitable rooms. There has been growing criticism that developers who have taken advantage of permitted development have provided sub-standard accommodation. Whilst in reality this is only a small proportion of the homes which have been constructed, it would appear that the Government intends to ensure that, going forward, residential units allowed under permitted development are of the same quality as those homes which are granted planning permission. All new homes delivered through permitted development rights must meet the space standards, which at their lowest require a minimum floorspace of 37sq.m for a 1 bed 1 person unit with a shower room.

As things stand, the detail is rather limited on when the new requirement will come into force, given the fast pace we have seen changes recently it could be in a matters of weeks which will have implications on emerging schemes. We understand that this will not be applied retrospectively to prior approvals which have already been granted or schemes which have been implemented. We expect transitional arrangements to be detailed in the legislation in due course. Boyer will continue to monitor the situation and are happy to help with any questions you may have.

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