Theresa May vows to ban ‘rabbit-hutch’ new homes with tiny cupboards by bringing in minimum size requirements
- The Prime Minister will propose design regulations to ensure adequate space
- Plans to ban developers filling show homes with ‘deceptively small furniture’
- At present, not all local authorities insist on the ‘nationally described space standard’ being used as a condition of granting planning permission
Theresa May will today promise a ban on building ‘tiny’ new homes.
The Prime Minister will propose mandatory design regulations with minimum sizes to end ‘rabbit hutch’ homes being pumped out with ‘inadequate storage’.
She will also say she wants to ban developers from hoodwinking buyers by filling show homes with ‘deceptively small furniture’ – a trick used to make rooms look bigger.
In a speech addressing the Chartered Institute Of Housing, Mrs May will say: ‘I cannot defend a system in which owners and tenants are forced to accept tiny homes with inadequate storage. Where developers feel the need to fill show homes with deceptively small furniture, and where the lack of universal standards encourages a race to the bottom.’
Prime Minister Theresa May prepares to meet President of Iraq Barham Salih outside 10 Downing Street, London, Tuesday June 25
At present, not all local authorities insist on the ‘nationally described space standard’ being used as a condition of granting planning permission.
These set out the minimum sizes for single and double bedrooms in new homes and the minimum floor-to-ceiling height, and call for built-in storage, as well as areas for equipment such as a hot water cylinder, boiler or heat exchanger.
The Prime Minister will say that the ad-hoc application of these guidelines has resulted in an uneven playing field, with different rules across the country leaving ‘tenants and buyers facing a postcode lottery’.
A Government source said: ‘The Prime Minister wants to see an end to rabbit hutch homes.’ And while Mrs May will insist quality must not be compromised on new homes, she will also pledge further moves to drive up the number being built to combat Britain’s housing shortage.
The Prime Minister’s intervention comes as figures indicate that, by the autumn, a million homes will have been built in under five years
She will tell the conference that although there is more to do, reforms have made it easier to get homes built where they are needed – including the Government’s £5.5billion housing infrastructure fund and by giving local authorities greater freedom to grant planning permission on brownfield sites.
The Prime Minister will say: ‘This is a government with a bold vision for housing and a willingness to act on it. A government that has delivered radical reforms for today, and the permanent structural changes that will continue to benefit the country for decades to come.’
Last year, more additional homes were delivered than in all but one of the previous 31 years. But Mrs May will also warn against complacency, saying: ‘The housing shortage in this country began not because of a blip lasting one year or one Parliament, but because not enough homes were built over many decades.
‘The very worst thing we could do would be to make the same mistake again.’
The Prime Minister’s intervention comes as figures indicate that, by the autumn, a million homes will have been added in under five years. In Manchester, the number of extra homes being created is up 12 per cent, in Nottingham by 43 per cent, and in Birmingham by 80 per cent.
Mrs May will also set out the next steps on the Social Housing Green Paper, which was published last year. An action plan is expected in September, calling for more high-quality social housing, better tenant rights, and demanding that landlords demonstrate how they have acted on any concerns raised.
During her speech, Mrs May will confirm plans to end so-called ‘no-fault’ evictions in a bid to protect tenants, with a consultation expected to be published shortly.
Tenants can currently be evicted with two months’ notice with no reason given.