The new housing and planning minister Brandon Lewis has called for the nation – and particularly builders – to love bungalows ‘a little bit more’
Lewis said smaller bungalows had a crucial role to play in helping older people maintain their independence - and in freeing up larger properties for young families.
In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, the new minister said builders and developers often overlooked the need for single-storey homes, and that more ‘quintessentially British’ bungalows should be built.
‘I think they are a really, really important part of the mix,’ he said.
‘We should be looking to love bungalows a little bit more.
‘In some areas on the outskirts of London you have tonnes and tonnes of apartments being built and not enough houses, because not everyone wants to live in an apartment.’
Lewis, who was promoted to his current role in last month’s reshuffle, cited the example of his in-laws, who he said were not ready to move into retirement housing but struggled to look after their current property.
His comments echo the recommendations of right-of-centre thinktank Policy Exchange‘s 2013 report Housing and Intergenerational Fairness.
It said only 300 bungalows had been built in 2009, the most recent year for which figures were available, but that finding ways to help the nation’s ageing property owners to downsize was an important part of dealing with the current housing crisis.
Last year the Department for Communiites and Local Government introduced a requirement for local authorites to better plan the provision of suitable housing for older residents, as part of a streamlining of regulations.
Housing minister Brandon Lewis calls for more ‘bungalow love’