People concerned about the poor or non existent space standards of UK’s new housing would be interested in CABE’s latest research report
The report points out that UK new housing has very poor space standards, including low levels of storage, food preparation areas, sufficient space for furniture or space in which to socialise. Basically CABE point out that “there is mismatch between the space needed by residents for everyday activities, and the space provided by the market”.
Well there is no new news there but at least it is good to see what everyone has known for so long being bourne out by official research. The real question is what should everyone do about this problem? As is CABE’s remit, it will be lobbying all of the existing players to promote the value and social importance of space in the home and critically they will issue a recommendation to local authorities to introduce minimum space standards via their planning departments.
The battle will no doubt move to the question of what is the minimum, and how do you effectively measure it, and what are the measurements for affordability. In fact what is the space standard threshold that improves space provision yet still allows for profitable private development to continue.
We will no doubt see the emergence of new space standard conforming pattern books developed by local authorities in answering these questions, and informing their partnering developers of the type of space and design standards they are after. This will be no bad thing, but unless there is a closed feedback loop established which openly invites authentic end user engagement in establishing these pattern books, such space standard could just be a paper exercise which only serve to slow the delivery of new homes in the UK. More on ‘people pattern books’ to follow….
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