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RIBA hails minimum space plan

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Minimum space standards in all new London housing could become mandatory as a result of guidelines being drawn up for Boris Johnson’s London Plan

The new plan, published by the London mayor last week, highlights key objectives that London needs to meet over the next 25 years. It also calls for greater emphasis on quality of architectural design.

Currently in consultation with the London Assembly, the paper is due to go out to a formal public consultation by autumn.

‘[The paper] mentions high design standards and minimum space standards for both public and private housing, which is something we have been calling for for some time,’ said Anna Scott-Marshall, head of public affairs at the RIBA.

‘There is a lot of focus in it on architecture and design and value of public spaces and public realm. It is encouraging,’ she added.

But RIBA planning specialist Peter Stewart said that there was little evidence in the plan of policy to be acted upon.

‘The statements are very vague. The question is, which ones are going to crystallise,’ he said.

But Stewart was encouraged by the move towards minimum space standards. ‘I personally think it is a very good thing to have a space standard and there is a very definite proposal here.’

Andrew Teacher of the British Property Federation said: ‘We need to push for better quality houses that last longer, but any measures should be conceived in partnership with the industry.’

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