Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has recently confirmed that new homes delivered through Permitted Development Rights (PDR), where a full planning application is not required, must meet the following space requirements:
“The space standard begins at 37m² of floor space for a new one-bed flat with a shower room (39m² with a bathroom), ensuring proper living space for a single occupier.”
The press release describes how permitted development (PD) homes make an important contribution to delivering the housing the country needs. It also says: “While homes delivered through Permitted Development Rights have little difference in quality compared to homes following a planning application, a minority of developers have been delivering small homes without justification. The changes announced today will put an end to this.”
However, a report published in July 2020 following research into the quality standard of homes delivered through change of use permitted development rights said: “…we would conclude that permitted development conversions do seem to create worse quality residential environments than planning permission conversions in relation to a number of factors widely linked to the health, wellbeing and quality of life of future occupiers.”
This report also confirmed that “Overall, only 22.1% of dwelling units created through PD would meet the nationally described space standards (NDSS), compared to 73.4% of units created through full planning permission. In many cases, the planning permission units were only slightly below the suggested standard, whereas the PD units were significantly below (for example, studio flats of just 16m² each were found in a number of different PD schemes). 68.9% of the units created through PD were studios or one-bedroom compared to 44.1% of the planning permission units.”
Of course, size is just one aspect and other factors impact quality. Hopefully, this is a step in the right direction to improving residential homes delivered via Permitted Development Rights.