Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Could garden offices solve the UK housing problem?

A fascinating business proposition in Oxford is moving the shedworking/tiny houses story forward.

As reported by the BBC Oxford businessman Robin Swailes is marketing £25,000 shedlike pods (3m x 2.5m) with electricity, kitchen, bed, toilet, shower, underfloor heating and running water as small homes for those struggling to get onto the property ladder in the city.

The plan is that the upturned boatlike structures would be erected - once planning permission is granted - in gardens around Oxford and then rented out.

Interviewed in the Oxford Mail, Swailes - who has already set one up in his own garden in the Sunnymead area of town - said:
"We want to put pods all over central North Oxford and could have 12 in place by Christmas. People have been ringing to ask what on earth it is, so there’s lots of interest already. If the demand is there, there could be hundreds across the city within the next year. We came up with the idea because we can’t meet the demand for rental accommodation in central North Oxford." 
Oxford is one of the most expensive places to rent in the UK with an average rent of £891 a month – £185 more than the average for the rest of the country. Oxford has about 6,000 people on the council's housing waiting list and 165 more in temporary accommodation. The average house price in the city is £343,461.
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  1. Anonymous12:39 PM

    I believe this idea is already established and very popular in Southall.

  2. These Pods are awesome. The company that build them were next to us at Grand Designs Live and were packed with people like we were for the whole 9 days. It just goes to show, people are looking to the garden to gain extra space and rent buildings out is becoming more and more of a good idea.