UK

London Microflats Could Be The Answer To People Wanting To Live In Zone One

For most of us, it's just a dream.

13/09/2017 12:18 BST | Updated 13/09/2017 15:32 BST

Some Londoners might at last be able to afford to live in Zone One thanks to a new range of “micro-flats” proposed by a regeneration specialist.

A “compact living” scheme, offering residents pint-sized apartments with a floor size of either 19 or 24 square metres, is coming to the capital.

Town Flats, marketed as ideal for young professionals, will cost between £700-£1,200 per month, with at least 50% falling within the London Living Rent.

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Rent in 'microflats' will cost between £700 and £1,200 per month
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The flats will have a floor size of either 19 or 24 metres squared

London Living Rent is a scheme to help people currently renting, who earn between £30,000 and £60,000, to build up their savings in order to buy a home.

Town Flats will be rental only, meaning they cannot be bought and sold, and will be built in partnership with local authorities making best use of currently redundant public sector land, which will remain in public ownership.

In a report by Development Economics, commissioned by U+I, it was found that Town flats would provide 4,770 more homes, based on an assumption of locating five town flat development sites in each of the nine inner London boroughs.

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One of the test flats built in U+I's office
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The flats could entice young professionals back into Zone One

U+I Deputy Chief Executive, Richard Upton, said: “For too long and for too many people London has been hollowing itself out - diluting the rich blend which has made it the global capital. The centre is now only affordable to either the very wealthy, only occasionally present, or those living in what social housing remains.

“For a new generation of workers in the middle, often working centrally, living in the middle of London has long been a dream.

“People increasingly want to live, work and play in the same place and we want to develop something that not only re-fills hollow London, but also brings communities back to life and delivers real social and economic benefits.

“Ideally we would like to develop these sites in association with public sector bodies who have unused land. This could bring additional social benefit to the public sector by generating much needed revenue from the rental income, while retaining ownership of their assets.”

Some people on social media did however seem less impressed...

Small living quarters have also previously prompted the likes of the Royal Institute of British Architects and Shelter to express their concern about so-called “rabbit hutch” accommodation.

U+I has built test flats in its headquarters, furnished by John Lewis, who is now creating a whole range for people living in small spaces.

The next step will be for U+I to find a landowner to partner with for the project.