Microunits are small residential flats being developed in premium city centre locations, favoured particularly by developers carrying out office to residential conversions under permitted development rights.
Recently they have gained quite a lot of attention due to local authorities becoming concerned about losing too much employment space to PDR and also mindful of housing needs.
Minimum space concerns are understandable when talking about family housing - but less so in the case of city centre flats which are attractive to younger workers, entrepreneurs and professionals.
Microunits have a role to play in providing opportunities for younger generation to live and work in our premium city centre locations, keeping them economically prosperous and vibrant. Market forces will naturally keep a check on those schemes that overstep the mark by misjudging the value vs space requirement equation.
In recent weeks The Big Issue has been looking at big ideas to address the housing crisis, examining new solutions to get more homes built. The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan believes he has found one, committing £25 million to help developer Pocket Living create more than 1,000 “affordable” homes, flats typically sold at least 20% below market rates. Pocket Living has specialized in building “micro” flats in the capital, with many smaller than 400 square feet. Pocket Living has committed to building (or at least starting) 1,059 homes, both one and two bedroom, by March 2021. Good news for the delivery of new housing, perhaps. But those interested in the decline in space standards in London may have concerns. Pocket Living had applied to previous Mayor of London Boris Johnson for exemptions to the city’s minimum space requirements.