London flats smaller than a CAR to be built as 'ridiculous' 90sq-foot 'studio apartments' get the green light

FLATS which are smaller than a car will be built in London.

The "ridiculous" 90sq-foot studio apartments have been given the go ahead because they are not affected by minimum space standards.

For a studio flat in the city, the minimum space standard is 37sq m.

But this doesn't apply for properties that have shared facilities for residents.

Plans proposed by two property developers, Simon Cowell's brother Nicholas who owns the Cowell Group and Dandi Living, have been blasted for disregarding "basic human needs".

The "self-contained studio apartments" will just about squeeze a bed, small table, and a tiny bathroom, with kitchen 'facilities'.

In Barnet, North London, as many as 107 flats were proposed at the end of May, and 56 of them will not have an external window.

Another planning application in Purley, already approved by Croydon Council, has seen a warehouse converted into flats equal to the size of typical parking spaces.


Julia Park, head of housing research at the architects Levitt Bernstein, told The Times: “Of the dozens of examples I’ve come across, these are probably the worst, particularly the Barnet scheme. The back part of the building is essential a windowless shed.”

She described the flats in Purley as "ridiculously small", with "more light in the corridor" than in the actual property.

Instead of external windows, owners will be able to view an internal "atrium garden" with only seven trees, The Times reported.

Other lucky owners will share a corridor with offices, and instead of windows, the apartments will be developed with "privacy film".

The Barnet Society, a residents’ organisation, described the proposal as “a cynical exploitation of planning loopholes — compounded by disregard for basic human needs”.

Their submissions come after it was revealed landlords were planning to convert offices into small flats.

In Purley, the newspaper reported more than 30 of the sized flats will be able to fit on to a tennis court.

The Cowell Group and Dandi Living said that they “take great pride in their track record for delivering high end, aesthetic and affordable housing”.


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Croydon council told the newspaper: “As in this case, the law restricts councils’ right to refuse approval for permitted development orders.

"Unless there are issues with contamination, flooding and transport, factors including size and suitability cannot be considered.”

It said that it inspected properties under a landlord licensing scheme to ensure “they meet decent standards on space and fire safety, and pass building control checks” and it planned to investigate the Purley building.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said: “All homes created under permitted development rights must meet building regulations and the prime minister last month called for new regulations to mandate developers to build higher-quality housing, including ensuring the Nationally Described Space Standard applies to all new homes.”

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