Twenty years ago, almost ten thousand new bungalows a year were completed by developers, but by 2019 this had fallen to 2,384. It is likely even lower following the pandemic.
The shortage of bungalows comes despite evidence that older people would rather move to a bungalow than into sheltered accommodation, potentially releasing thousands of family homes into the market.
Low Precedence to Bungalow Development
Very few local authorities give any precedence to bungalow development, and increasingly bungalows are being redeveloped into two storey dwellings, such is the demand for family housing. But Ben Norton, Planning Director at Norton Taylor Nunn, says that by building more bungalows, Local Authorities will help solve broader issues within the housing market.
Demand for Bungalows
“Evidence shows that the demand for bungalows is really strong, but they’re more expensive to build, because they need more land to build than a conventional home. As a result, fewer have been delivered by developers. Without action by local planning authorities, through the local plan process, the bungalow as an option may be lost to the housing market.”
Mr Norton added that:
“The reasons for refusal were unquestionably vague and generalised… [and] …could not reasonably have been expected to materially alter the favourable planning balance. Indeed, the Council’s own appeal evidence was that the planning balance was favourable, such that planning permission should be granted.”
Risk for Bungalows comes from recent Government Planning Reforms
Another risk for bungalows comes from recent Government planning reforms. Mr Norton said:
“The introduction of Permitted Development Rights for upward development has placed bungalows built between 1948 and 2018 at even greater risk of redevelopment. The principle of upwards development has been granted on almost all bungalows by the Government, so it will be even harder for local authorities to resist them, except on design grounds. This makes building new bungalows even more important.”