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Will these be the worst new ‘rabbit hutch’ flats in Britain?

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https://www.theguardian.com/money/2019/mar/02/will-these-be-the-worst-new-rabbit-hutch-flats-in-britain

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Twenty-six studio flats measuring as little as 18 sq metres – that’s just under 14ft by 14ft for residents’ entire living, washing and eating space – are set to be crammed into a scruffy two-storey commercial building on an industrial estate. A typical Premier Inn hotel room, by comparison, is 21.3 sq metres.

Some of the flats would apparently be windowless, with the only natural light seemingly coming from a roof light or skylight – so they would offer no view out.

A leading architect says the plan to convert an office in affluent Balham, south London, into tiny flats is the latest “shocking” example of the controversial phenomenon known as office-to-residential conversion. Across the country, commercial buildings are being converted into often minuscule flats – using new laws that enable developers to bypass the traditional planning permission system and national space standards.

 

 

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This news has got me doing some quick sums on a Saturday morning..

cram a family of scumbag immigrants into one of em? Asians I’m thinking, for one they’re smaller plus  they complain less about the conditions in my experience, not like my ungrateful “young professional” brit tenants

 

id rather get a load of housing bennies in on these little potential goldmines than the hassle of dealing with tenants who read an article in the guardian and suddenly think they have rights.. er no pal, this is my business first and foremost, you just pay the rent on time and in full and shut the hell  up 

 

so yeah, this had caught my attention and yes I’m interested in snapping a few of these up to just rent out. 

Edited by thewig

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The entrance to which is via a loading area, just past some gas canisters. Delightful. :lol:

Look at the diagram. The bed is right next to the bog, the headboard where the shower room wall is. Lovely. :lol:

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Some of the flats would apparently be windowless, with the only natural light seemingly coming from a roof light or skylight – so they would offer no view out.

What. The. F? :o I know planning rules are lax but shirley this development cannot be allowed.

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3 hours ago, thewig said:

This news has got me doing some quick sums on a Saturday morning..

cram a family of scumbag immigrants into one of em? Asians I’m thinking, for one they’re smaller plus  they complain less about the conditions in my experience, not like my ungrateful “young professional” brit tenants

 

id rather get a load of housing bennies in on these little potential goldmines than the hassle of dealing with tenants who read an article in the guardian and suddenly think they have rights.. er no pal, this is my business first and foremost, you just pay the rent on time and in full and shut the hell  up 

 

so yeah, this had caught my attention and yes I’m interested in snapping a few of these up to just rent out. 

Prison cells in Switzerland are 12m sq. Being 18m sq you could market these as "The Switzon Grande Suites".

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Oh my. I've just noticed on the plan diagram, that thing on the the bed is actually cat. They are obviously having a laugh with that.

'spose the litter tray is in the wardrobe then? or maybe the foot of the bed under the TV for the aroma. Maybe the cat died from cabin fever related madness.

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16 minutes ago, Arpeggio said:

Oh my. I've just noticed on the plan diagram, that thing on the the bed is actually cat. They are obviously having a laugh with that.

'spose the litter tray is in the wardrobe then? or maybe the foot of the bed under the TV for the aroma. Maybe the cat died from cabin fever related madness.

As the saying goes, you couldn't swing a cat in a place that small. :D

On another view of the diagram, there doesn't appear to be much space in the shower room to close the door behind you.

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Totally miserable but an inevitable outcome of current policy. 

They will be sold as a temporary living option before moving 'up the ladder'..the cynicism makes you sick.

I have dealt with developer of similar scheme but in Welwyn...they were Greek. You can be sure the developers here will be from overseas. No home grown developer would come up with the idea of homes with no windows.

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You'd be better off going to prison than buying one of these. A prison cell is not much smaller, it's mortgage/rent free, and has a window. 

These types of property make me wonder, who is the the actual prisoner? Somebody in the current system slaving away in a modern workplace (a prison in itself) to pay for their cell, or somebody detained at her majesty's pleasure. 

Out of interest, does anybody know how much these cubicles will be listed for? I'm guessing at least a quarter of a million. 

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No difference to the many thousands that already live in one room bedsits, for the many that choose to stay single or who remain single not out of choice.......a box to buy to call your own, with your own front door......a sign of the times.;)

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That layout graphic is hilarious. After a hard day head home and relax in your single seat armchair whilst admiring the view of your wardrobe! 

you've got to hand it to them for efficient use of space, at least with these they can keep a lid on restaurant workers and hairdressers wages so the ultra wealthy can keep more of their loot to spend on over priced trinkets!

 

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Uncontrolled mass immigration + the continuous subdivision of the existing housing stock = hpi forever.

Or as the Tory boys prefer to call it, Plan A.

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1 hour ago, zugzwang said:

Uncontrolled mass immigration + the continuous subdivision of the existing housing stock = hpi forever.

Or as the Tory boys prefer to call it, Plan A.

Bit sexist mate! Do you have any evidence that any of the Tory girls are any less despicable on housing?

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5 hours ago, MattW said:

As the saying goes, you couldn't swing a cat in a place that small. :D

 On another view of the diagram, there doesn't appear to be much space in the shower room to close the door behind you.

Or the saying "The Cat sh*t on the mat" in that cramped space. Yes, looking at the picture it would appear there's just enough space to get around the opened door to get to the the toilet.

4 hours ago, Orb said:

A prison cell is not much smaller, it's mortgage/rent free, and has a window. 

You see, there's your luxury. Air ventilation of having a window after flushing down a big one. Makes me wonder if the bathrooms in those flats have air extractors.

4 hours ago, Wayward said:

No home grown developer would come up with the idea of homes with no windows.

I'm going to put on a Black Adder Baldric Voice for this one: "Once, a long time ago sir, people bricked up their windows to avoid paying window tax. No such luxury like in the days of yore with their brave knights, maidens and windows sir."

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8 hours ago, Arpeggio said:

Oh my. I've just noticed on the plan diagram, that thing on the the bed is actually cat. They are obviously having a laugh with that.

'spose the litter tray is in the wardrobe then? or maybe the foot of the bed under the TV for the aroma. Maybe the cat died from cabin fever related madness.

I doubt RSPCA would allow anyone to keep a cat in such a small space.  If neighbours tell RSPCA about the cat, the RSPCA will come,  put down the cat and the tenant, and neuter the landlord. 

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1 hour ago, Bear Hug said:

I doubt RSPCA would allow anyone to keep a cat in such a small space.  If neighbours tell RSPCA about the cat, the RSPCA will come,  put down the cat and the tenant, and neuter the landlord.  

I'd like to think so. The empty flat could be used by the RSPCA to temporarily keep Owls that are due to be put down.

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13 minutes ago, Arpeggio said:

I'd like to think so. The empty flat could be used by the RSPCA to temporarily keep Owls that are due to be put down.

I'm not so sure about that.  Owls might require various luxurious upgrades, such as windows.

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5 hours ago, Bear Hug said:

I'm not so sure about that.  Owls might require various luxurious upgrades, such as windows.

Plus, when they spin their heads 180 they're bound to bang them on something.

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Having such a small, dark depressing space to spend time in means people will find good reason to spend as much time as possible somewhere else,wandering the streets, sitting in coffee bar, park bench....is that the idea?.....or makes going to work something to look forward to?........ trouble with small high density living the developers do not provide the other local resources more people living in an area require....extra doctors, hospitals, police, school places, road space etc.......supermarkets, takeaways, transport services etc love it, they can sell more products and services......bums on seats......numbers game.;)

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18 hours ago, winkie said:

No difference to the many thousands that already live in one room bedsits, for the many that choose to stay single or who remain single not out of choice.......a box to buy to call your own, with your own front door......a sign of the times.;)

The one room bedsit I lived in once was quite a bit bigger than this, and it at least had a separate bathroom and a window.

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18 hours ago, Save me from the madness! said:

That layout graphic is hilarious. After a hard day head home and relax in your single seat armchair whilst admiring the view of your wardrobe! 

you've got to hand it to them for efficient use of space, at least with these they can keep a lid on restaurant workers and hairdressers wages so the ultra wealthy can keep more of their loot to spend on over priced trinkets!

 

That'll be it. "Efficient" is a bit of a buzzword these days, any time you hear it you can be sure it means "make things cheaper and nastier and more cramped and more uncomfortable."

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Regarding the classic 'But Japanese places are smaller' retort that's always trotted out...

Yes they can be smaller but they will always have built in storage, no beds (futons are stored during the day), no large chairs or sofas needed (sit on tatami mats), shared communal laundry areas, often a local bath house within walking distance, many convenience stores stocking a huge range of useful products 24/7 within walking distance, many cheap restaurants within walking distance, exceptional public transport within walking distance. And they will have windows!

Living in a small space is no hardship when the society around you functions well enough to provide your requirements. Of course, western developers take this basic concept and corrupt it for profit with complete disregard for the ongoing well being of their prey. 

Edited by PeanutButter

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My question is: what is it about British society that has created people who do all the planning, design, accreditation, financial planning (and much more) for this sort of thing?

Does no-one in the lifecycle of such product ask any reasonable questions about how insane this is?

How many people needed to act on plans like these to bring them to reality? Are they all jaded "If I don't do it someone else will" or is there that big a racket in the suck-the-rent-from-them-till-they-die in this place that they can find people to sanction such insensitivity?

 

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