3/5/16 – National space standard to be made mandatory?

The technical housing standards, introduced in October last year, set out the Government’s national space standards for new residential development.

Currently adoption of the standards by local authorities is optional.  However, in a House of Lords debate on the Housing and Planning Bill this week, Labour peer Lord Beecham, put forward an amendment to make the standards mandatory.

The amendment was proposed following a recommendation in the Labour Party’s Lyons Housing Review.  However, in response to the review, Communities Minister Baroness Williams stated:-

“it also recognised further work was needed to avoid unintended consequences that might impact on supply in some areas.  In particular, the Lyons review recognised that space standards could impact more on the market for flats than on the market for houses, could create barriers for smaller builders, and would have the greatest effect on the affordable end of the housing market.”

The Government will now undertake a review to see how the space standards are operating in practice, the findings of which will be available early next year.

We will update you with progress on this policy change in due course.

For further information, please contact Andrew Boothby, Planning Consultant, via andrew.boothby@argroup.co.uk or 01442 874 087.

Andrew Boothby