Housing policy should be overhauled to cut space demanded for car parking to allow more efficiently designed apartment buildings, according to Moda Living, which has called for greater flexibility around planning demands for car park spaces.
In its response to the housing white paper consultation, which closed this week, the company said that overly restrictive car parking standards which require the provision of inappropriate levels of car parking, exceed the requirements of the build to rent market. Renters are increasingly ‘asset-light’ choosing to user ride share companies like Uber or car hire brands like Zip Car.
Moda Living also wants reform of overly restrictive national residential space standards. This is because such rules fail to recognise the high levels of amenity and shared places offered by premium rental developments.
Greater flexibility in the interpretation and application these standards should form a key element of emerging Build to Rent policy, the company said.
Tony Brooks, managing director of Moda Living, said, “The reality is that huge investment is going in to considerable shared areas that residents will be free to access. It’s therefore essential these things are considered when planners are totting up the amount of space a resident has access to. Given the choice between a tiny private balcony you can’t fit a table on to or having a slice of a much bigger, shared space, it makes sense that we consider how we can offer people a higher standard of living without a “computer says no” approach to space standards.”
Overly restrictive community infrastructure levy (CIL) payment terms on build to rent schemes also have a direct and detrimental impact on the ability to deliver new homes. It wants central government to help locally elected members better understand the financial realities around building investment properties.
Brooks added, “Where finance is tied up in income-producing assets, less up-front profit is generated compared with housing built for sale. This means that build to rent therefore needs to be treated different within the planning system if we want to build more homes, faster.”