Roll out more space

THE adoption by Worthing Borough Council of the proposed internal space and storage standards for housing cannot come soon enough. I welcomed the August 2011 draft and, having been approved by councillors at the joint planning committee meeting for Adur and Worthing, look forward to the cabinet recommending implementation.

The standards are based on the Parker Morris Standards set out in the 1960s and adopted by the public sector and the then National House Builder’s Registration Council from 1967. Subsequently, however, from the 1980s to the present time these minimum standards have been eroded. The triad of developers, builders and money-lenders, encouraged by Government policy have offered the average buyer housing space which is the lowest in Western Europe. Proof is seen in the partitioning of family houses in central Worthing into depressing, small multiple dwellings and some flats and housing that do not offer reasonable living space.

The labyrinths of many modern estates have dashed my vision of rising living standards dreamt of when young and buying into design in the 50s and 60s.

I hope and urge the council to follow the lead of the office of the Mayor of London in implementing a design guide including space standards 10 per cent more generous than those of Parker Morris, particularly for developments on its own land. The council deserves encouragement and praise for its efforts to eradicate poor standards in new housing and its associated social blight.

David Sumner


The Worthing Society