Flat space standards found too inflexible

In allowing an appeal to convert a maisonette in north London into two self-contained flats, an inspector has declared that the council's minimum size standards appear somewhat arbitrary.

The appellant proposed to create a one-bedroom flat and a bedsit. The council's standards indicated that bedsits should have a minimum internal floor area of 30m2 and one-bedroom flats 45m2. The authority claimed that the flat would provide a floor area of less than 38m2 and therefore failed to comply with its conversion policy.

The inspector noted that the council had provided no information on how the standards, which had been adopted in 1996, had been derived. PPS3, he observed, encourages local authorities to adopt a flexible approach to enable the conversion of properties to provide additional housing. In his opinion, it was necessary to apply judgement when assessing proposals against mathematical guidelines. The size and shape of the flats would provide acceptable internal living space, he concluded.

DCS Number 100-051-112

Inspector Martyn Single; Written representations.

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