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Housing minister Brandon Lewis calls for more ‘bungalow love’


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.


Readers' comments (5)

  • Mark Owen

    Good to see the governments green agenda is ramping up, they appear to be recycling old news.

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  • Ah yes, the conservative policy formation of 'my mate/dad/campaign funder' reckons what we need is.......less immigrants/lower wages/less rules for employers/ less benefits e.t.c.

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  • How quaint! Good to know the solution to the housing crisis will be suitably 'folksy' for the Telegraph reading voters. Perhaps we could build them in, I don't know...Garden Cities, or something?

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  • Well actually, I think they can be a sensible solution in certain areas - particularly in areas where there is otherwise resistance to back-garden infilling.
    I designed a purpose-built mobility-designed single storey dwelling in the back garden of a house for the owner to retire into it.
    It was planning restricted to over-55s or anyone in the household being registered disabled.....no other form of development would have got planning consent and neighbours did not object ...and where was it? 'ahem' on the edge of Welwyn Garden City !

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  • Bungalows and not necessarily good for older people, they develop Bungalow Knee due to not getting enough exercise. Give them small houses by all means, but not bungalows. Apart from that, bungalows are really energy and land hungry, so a bad idea for the fuel poor, and not likely to be polular with NIMBY's. For once I agree with them.

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