The revelation of a plan by Meadow Residential to create 234 flats in the 11 storey Barnet House in Whetstone, North London has split opinion. The project would convert the office block into new homes when Barnet Council moves from the building in 2018. To achieve such a high number of new homes though the floor sizes will start from just 16 square metres. The largest flats would be 47 square metres.
The project has drawn criticism for the size of the properties. This is particularly apt because Barnet Council stipulates in its planning standards that a single person dwelling must be a minimum of 36 square metres. With this in mind all but a very small number of the new homes in Barnet House would be smaller than this. As a result it is very unlikely the plan would get permission to proceed.
The problem has arisen because property owners have permitted development rights that allow the conversion of commercial properties into residential. As a result of these the local authority can be overridden in terms of seeking planning permission. The aim of the rights is to drive up housing creation but it creates opportunities for developers to create types of housing that is not needed.
Many responders have stated that what Whetstone and the wider Barnet Borough need are more two and three bed properties for both young people and families. The plans for the small studios and one bedroom flats do not coincide with these demands.
At Finefair we offer a wide array of services in the area including working with investors as a lettings agent in Barnet. As part of this we advise about investment opportunities and handle the letting process from start to finish. We understand the importance and value of investing in the right kind of home.
Although there is demand for housing across the whole of London it is important to ensure the right kind is provided. It is vital to understand this whether you are a developer or a landlord. The above story showcases this.