Tiny flats the size of a parking space to be built

Tiny flats the size of a parking space will be among the smallest homes in Britain as developers cram a kitchen, bathroom and bed into 180 square foot living space

  • Developers have brushed off criticism over their 182-square foot apartments 
  • Appliances are squeezed into every corner of the Cambridge micro-homes
  • Campaigners are up in arms over the development, branding the flats ‘appalling’ 

Shoe-box flats the size of disabled parking bays have been green-lighted for construction, flying in the face of a fierce backlash.

Developers have brushed off criticism over their 182-square foot apartments and insist the micro-homes are ‘a perfectly reasonable size’.  

A kitchen, bathroom and bedroom cram inside the proposed rooms, which will be fitted inside a building on Huntingdon Road, Cambridge.

Appliances are squeezed into every corner of the micro-homes, with a fridge, a cupboard, hobs, a washing machine, a bed and a desk pressed against the walls.   

Campaigners are up in arms over the development, branding the flats ‘appalling’ and are petitioning for the plans to be ripped up.   

Shoe-box flats the size of disabled parking bays have been green-lighted for construction in Cambridge

Appliances are squeezed into every corner of the micro-homes, with a fridge, a cupboard, hobs, a washing machine, a bed and a desk pressed against the walls

The 182-square foot homes are being built in the old National Institute Of Agricultural Botany building on Huntington Road

Government rules say the minimum internal space in residential homes should be 400-square feet, however the developers, Marchingdale Developments, have managed to wriggle through a loophole.

By converting existing space and getting prior approval, they have been able to avoid scrutiny from the local council, where there have been grumblings over the flat’s size.  

Cambridge City Council’s executive councillor for planning policy, Katie Thornburrow, said ‘it’s appalling this is going ahead’.  

The smallest of the 149 flats, which were approved on May 20 to be built in the old National Institute Of Agricultural Botany building, are some of the tiniest in Britain.

In Newbury Park, east London, an office block has been converted to flats which are just 140 square feet in size, which critics said forced residents to pack in like ‘sardines’.

The compact kitchen space includes the staple living appliances which are pressed against the wall

A tiny bathroom is fitted with a small shower, toilet and sink. Developers have brushed off criticism over their 182-square foot apartments and insist the micro-homes are ‘a perfectly reasonable size’

Marchingdale Developments, which are building the flats next yards away from Cambridge University, said it was disappointed with the criticism and added the plans were fully compliant with legislation.

A spokesman said: ‘The prior approval process was introduced by central government in 2013 to increase the delivery of housing and to promote the reuse of vacant office buildings.

‘The applicants have complied fully with the legislation and accordingly the principle of development cannot be in question, subject to it being demonstrated that there would be no adverse impacts in respect of transport and highways, contamination, flooding and noise.

‘It is important to emphasise that Local Plan policies are not capable of being a consideration during the determination of this type of application as it is for prior approval for development automatically granted by a government development order.

‘The units are of a perfectly reasonable size, allowing for all of the necessary functions to support daily life, and our clients are very clear that there is both a need and demand in Cambridge for the form of accommodation proposed.

Reuben Young, director of housing charity Priced Out, said: ‘Permitted development rights have resulted in a lot of bad quality, inadequate housing all over the country.

‘If we moved to a rules-based planning system which removed the concept of political approval for specific developments from the planning process, we could keep the best of both worlds.

‘Much more needed homes built, and no developers using loopholes to build substandard housing.’ 

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