Developers to be banned from converting offices into tiny flats

Harry Yorke
·1 min read
Robert Jenrick
Robert Jenrick

Developers will be banned from turning former office blocks into tiny flats after the House Secretary announced that all conversions would be subject to minimum space requirements. 

Robert Jenrick has announced that the Government will tighten up planning rules amid concern that some developers are churning out cramped sub-standard apartments with limited access to natural light. 

Under the changes, all new homes created through permitted development rights will require at least 37m² of floorspace for a one bed flat with a shower room in order to provide “proper living space” for the occupier. 

It comes after a report commissioned by the Government found that almost 80 per cent of flats built under the rules did not meet minimum space standards. 

It is thought that 60,000 have been built since the relaxations came into effect in 2013.

Announcing the clampdown on Wednesday, Mr Jenrick said: “The pandemic has further highlighted the importance of having somewhere secure and comfortable to live. 

“While most developers deliver good homes and do the right thing, I’m tackling the minority of developers abusing the system by announcing that new homes delivered will have to meet space standards.”

However, the Government is expanding permitted development rights to allow two-storey extensions on blocks of flats and detached buildings and the change is to be debated in the Commons.

The move has been met by some Conservative MPs, who believe it will lead to people erecting eyesores that are out of keeping with other buildings in their areas.