The council has adopted perfectly adequate space standards for affordable homes (public sector housing). Unfortunately no such standards apply to private sector dwellings and hence we are continuously faced with proposals for very small dwellings. Brighton & Hove standards for affordable housing are as follows: 1 bed flats 50sqm, 2 bed flats 66sqm, 2 bed houses 76sqm.
We monitored the situation throughout 2010 and made about a dozen representations on individual planning applications pointing out the inadequacy of flats proposed. In only a few cases were applications refused because of small dwelling sizes.
The small dwellings being built have long been a problem both locally and nationally: Britain produces some of the smallest dwellings in Europe. Such dwellings have often very limited space for kitchens, no space for dining tables, very restricted storage space, all of which adds to a most unsatisfactory living environment. In our opinion such ‘Hobbit homes’ might well help create the slums of the future. We believe there should be one standard for housing in Brighton & Hove and that the one currently used for affordable homes would be adequate.
We made comments accordingly at the City Plan stage and managed to agree modifications to the City Plan, that dwelling standards (which now will be the national standards, if implemented) will be included in Part II of the City Plan, which we assume will be produced during 2016.