Lock Up Garages Support Innovative Accommodation Alternative

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Lockupgarages.co.uk places its support behind the recently announced plan to create temporary low cost accommodation in order to counter the London housing crisis. It is in fact an idea put to local councils by Managing Director, Rodger Dudding, some 20 years ago.

London is caught in the midst of a housing crisis, with many areas being unaffordable and property rental prices continuing to rise, but with ingenious ideas and original plans, the burden could be eased. Architects have come up with a novel approach to converting existing buildings into homes and on this occasion the building is a row of disused garages.

The proposed design of each individual unit would contain a bed, kitchen, bathroom and room for a small table and two chairs. They would measure in at 11.5 square meters with a communal area in every fifth garage with a laundry, extra kitchen space and a dining space.

The scheme would cost around £13,000 to convert each unit with rent set at around £11 a week. The design is based around a row of disused garages on the Lockner Estate in Dalston, East London. If the scheme goes ahead, it could blaze the trail for affordable accommodation across the city of London and elsewhere in the country.

Stephanie Bentley from LockUpGarages.co.uk has welcomed the idea, with the progression seeming natural as people’s perception of garages has changed from that of traditional vehicle storage. She said, “Over the past few years we have seen more varied uses for the garages that we rent out, with more and more people using them for storage for a range of items as well as vehicles.

“When people move house, or if they are forced to downsize, they need storage for their belongings and people are often amazed at just how much can be placed into a normal garage. The idea of converting garages into ‘mini flats’ sounds great and should help many people obtain a home without the expense of ever increasing rental costs in the city, although we are concerned that the suggested rental of £11 per week does seem to be unrealistically low."

“Rather than forcing people to use garages illegally for occupation, the idea of converting them and including all mod-cons for great prices can really help relieve pressure on the already strained housing market.”

The homes would be fabricated offsite by apprentices and then assembled onsite. If the area was to be developed in the future, the units could be disassembled and used elsewhere. Architects are already in talks with other local authorities with the hope of launching other schemes across the country.

One of the architects who designed the project, Georgie Revell, said: “The proposal targets under-used spaces in high density areas where land value is high and rising.

“We believe it offers a creative and practical interim solution between other development opportunities and we're really excited about the potential to develop the scheme with Building Trust and our partners.”

“The proposals not only offer a home but education opportunities in construction techniques," said Jo McCafferty from Levitt Bernstein.

“It is a way of regenerating street frontage and a practical interim solution between other development possibilities.”

To learn more about Lock Up Garages, please visit: http://www.lockupgarages.co.uk/

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Pritesh Ghelani
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