Could this garage become Lavender Hill’s smallest house?

A brand new house is being proposed, at 155c Lavender Hill – behind Froud’s barber shop. And it might be one of the smallest houses in Battersea! The plans are to convert an existing one-car garage on Sugden Road in to a freestanding one-bedroom house, including a compact kitchenette and bathroom – at just 29.2 square metres (315 square feet).

It’s a thoughtful and properly designed plan – there has clearly been an architect involved. The garage door will be replaced with a window, the front wall will be brought slightly closer to the pavement, and a second storey will be built on top to create a bedroom. It’ll even have a small balcony tucked away at the back. When it’s finished it’ll look more like this –

Small houses can have a bit of a tricky time getting planning permission (as they tend to fall below the 37 square metres guideline minimum size for new houses in London), which may explain why different parts of the planning documents take slightly different approaches on whether this is a ‘new house’ (which could presumably be sublet to lodgers, or sold) or a gym / study room / home office / teenagers’ escape area / etc for the flat above Froud’s who will be developing it.

That said, we doubt this proposed development will be controversial – partly as the change is likely to be discreet (it’s still a lot smaller than what was recently built next door), partly as it will slightly improve the street frontage (and remove an awkward indent where the garage door is) – but mostly because the plans have been developed by the owners of the property next door that will be most affected by it.

The biggest arguments with new builds tend to be about parking! By its nature this plan will be a loss of a parking space (in the garage) as well as the addition of one more ‘property’ which – depending how it’s used – may add an extra car to the street. However provided any planning permission also includes provision being made for the dropped pavement in front of the new house to be removed, and a parking space restored where there is currently a space (to allow access to the garage) this is unlikely to add significantly to parking pressure in the area.

This isn’t the first plan for a teeny tiny house on Lavender Hill. There’s a small shop on the corner of Latchmere Road and Lavender Hill, pictured below, which went in for planning a couple of years ago to be converted to a house (with a basement level added rather than a second storey). In the end the planning application to convert it to a house was withdrawn but that property did nonetheless get a proper makeover including having the basement dug out as planned, and it ended up becoming the smartly-fitted-out Mavrichi Hair Boutique.

If you’re interested in the details (or do want to comment on the application), visit wandsworth.gov.uk/planning and search for planning application reference 2020/3797. And as ever, we’ll continue to keep an eye out for any new developments in the Lavender Hill area that look especially interesting.

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