UK Prime Minister Theresa May

May’s legacy pledge to end ‘tiny homes’

Pledge to introduce new national design standards to end ‘tiny homes’.
27 June 2019 , Katie Coyne

Prime Minister Theresa May pledged to introduce new national design standards to end ‘tiny homes’ in her speech at the Chartered Institute of Housing conference.

Speaking in Manchester on 25 June, May said there was a postcode lottery as to whether space standards were applied in new builds.

May added: “If space standards are not applied in your area, there is no guarantee that any new homes will be of an adequate size.

“Now I am no fan of regulation for the sake of regulation. But I cannot defend a system in which some 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.”

However, National Federation of Builders (NFB) chief executive Richard Beresford said it was disingenuous of the Prime Minister to “make it a priority now that she was stepping down”. He said the issue had been raised numerous times but had been “kicked into the long grass”.

The NFB argued that the Government’s decision to stop publishing the number of one, two, three and four-bedroom homes being built hindered councils from matching housing need with supply.

Rico Wojtulewicz, head of housing and planning policy at the House Builders Association (the NFB’s housebuilding division), said: “I’ve lost track of the number of times I raised this issue with the Government and councils. We can ensure larger homes are built through tools such as space standards, but councils must also know the types and size of homes that are being built. That requires the Government to begin publishing those statistics once again.”

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