Save our bungalows plea as extinction looms

Simm Carr for sale with Charnock Bates
Simm Carr for sale with Charnock Bates
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Bridlington is a bungalow hotspot and it’s flat terrain makes it perfect for those with mobility issues. This semi-detached property has three bedrooms and sea views.

Conservationists may not be campaigning for it but statistics show that a breeding programme is desperately needed for bungalows.

Disability charity the Papworth Trust reveal that in 2013 only two per cent of new builds were bungalows and say at the current rate of decline the last new one will be built in 2020.

Patrick McCutcheon, Head of Residential at Dacre, Son and Hartley, agrees that the situation is serious given that we have an ageing population with mobility issues.

“Very few bungalows have been built in recent years and a number of existing bungalows have been redeveloped. They are arguably an endangered species in some towns and villages. Those dating from the 1930s and 1950s often sit in disproportionally large grounds, which are an appealing asset that can lead to a bungalow’s demise as it is reconfigured into a more substantial home.”

Most developers see the single-storey dwellings as a waste of space and prefer to build two and three-storey homes to maximise square footage and profit.

This argument has been challenged by the Papworth Trust which has just built two two-bedroom bungalows that occupy the same 69.7m2 plot as a standard two-bedroom home.

The charity hopes the design will persuade more developers to invest in accessible housing. The properties, built in Papworth Everard in Cambridgeshire, meet the accessibility standards. One has been fitted with smart home technology that should prove invaluable to disabled residents. The front door, windows, curtains and lights can all be controlled by a smartphone or tablet.

Papworth Trust Chief Executive Vicky McDermott says: “For the generation that follows, it is essential that we build more accessible homes like our bungalows to prevent the next housing crisis. We would like to welcome any organisation or person interested in building an accessible home to get in touch.”

Easingwold-based Mulgrave Properties is one of the few developers committed to building bungalows alongside its two and three-storey homes.

Andy Campbell, CEO of Mulgrave Properties, says: “Building a small number of single-storey dwellings allows us to create some interesting and varied streetscapes and also cater for a growing band of customers that want single-storey properties.

“Very few have been built in recent years and there is undoubted demand. From a commercial point of view, they are more expensive to build but there are a growing number of customers that are happy to pay to get the accommodation they want.”

Mulgrave has two bungalows at its latest development in Easingwold, which are £475,000. There will be one at its site in Little Crakehall, near Bedale, and three on its proposed development in Cloughton, near Scarborough.

Thanks to the supply and demand issue they should prove a good investment for buyers. Patrick McCutcheon says: “Buyers react very positively when new bungalows come up for sale. We have had numerous examples, even during the worst periods of the recession, which ultimately saw their sale concluded by way of sealed bids.

“The values perform well. Those in the most desirable and accessible areas can sell at up to 25 to 35 per cent more per sq. ft. than a traditional family house.”