Latest solution to housing shortage is tiny one bed houses

These tiny homes are the latest solution to the housing shortage – one person dwellings the size of three parking spaces.

Two of the flats in Bristol will be created by converting an existing two-storey Victorian house – while a third, described as a prefabricated “box” home, will be built in the garden.

City council planning policy advises against the construction of single-occupier dwellings – even if they meet national housing standards.

But a planning committee defied the recommendations and approved the one-bed, one-person homes in the Hillfields area of the city last month.

Each home will be between 37sqm and 44sqm, and will have a small garden.

Developer Ecomotive urged councillors to “stand up and make new precedents” to help solve the housing crisis – despite officers initially recommending they reject the plans.

Planning committee member councillor Margaret Hickman said: “The world is moving to many more units that actually only one person is going to be living in.

“There’s such a crisis that we’re going to have to shrink probably our expectations to actually be able to house people in the ways that they want to be housed.”

No members of the public objected to the homes and 20 wrote in support, ahead of the planning decision meeting last month.

Councillors backed the two homes converted from a house by nine votes to two before unanimously approving the “box” home in the rear garden.

Speaking at the meeting, Michele Asher, of Ecomotive, told councillors: “I’d hate to see Bristol City Council turn down a totally viable living option which addresses the need for affordable housing, small footprints, enough space for people to live comfortably and with dignity and the right to choose just based on limiting bureaucratic regulations.”

The council’s development manager, Gary Collins, advised councillors to change local planning policy if necessary rather than make a habit of overruling it.

But another Labour councillor, Olly Mead, cautioned against setting a worrying precedent for “smaller and smaller and smaller properties”.

Ecomotive said in a subsequent statement: “We are truly grateful to the openness and level-headed thinking of councillors on the committee to not be driven by bureaucratic outdated planning policy, and to overturn the recommendation for refusal of the planning officer.”

 

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