Hundreds of tiny studio flats, many smaller than a budget hotel room, are to be squeezed into an eleven-story block in north London as its developer takes advantage of the government’s relaxation of planning regulations.
Plans for Barnet House, used by the London borough of Barnet’s housing department, reveal that 96% of the 254 proposed flats will be smaller than the national minimum space standards of 37 sq metres (44 sq yards) for a single person.
The tiniest homes will be 16 sq metres – 40% smaller than the average Travelodge room. They are legal because of government deregulation designed to promote the conversion of underused office space to help meet housebuilding targets.
Local residents have labelled the Barnet scheme “ridiculous” and “immoral”, comparing the planned homes to dog kennels.
Once kitted out with basic furniture, such as a small kitchenette, bed and wardrobe, the smallest flats will have very little room to move around. There appears to be little space, for example, for a sofa or a washing machine, unless it is stacked on top of the fridge.
In the surrounding area, studio flats of a similar scale to most planned at Barnet House sell for around £180,000 and rent for around £800 per month.