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Thursday 24th May

It's not just about the size of the room but the quality of the home. Are new housing models getting it right?

Venue: RICS, Great George Street, London, SW1P 3AD

Time; 7.45 - 10.15am

According to recently published research by LABC Warranty, living rooms of newly built homes in Britain are nearly a third smaller than equivalent homes built in the 1970s.

On top of this, master bedrooms were on average 13.4m2 in size, compared with 14.7m2. This is adding fuel to previous claims of "rabbit hutch" housing. However, new providers of smaller sized dwellings are arguing that their provision is just the product of a changing attitude towards the homes we live in and an acute demand for housing across the country.

Come and join our panel of experts as we discuss:

  • How big a size is reasonable for living and sleeping?

  • What about the continued issue of lack of storage?

  • How do we ensure that quality is not being sacrificed for quantity?

  • Are new housing models a consequence of changing habits or storage of supply?

  • Is the Build to Rent sector having an impact on housing design?

  • How will this work if there is no placemaking or infrastructure to support any housing development?


Ian Piper
Ebbsfleet Development Corporation

Ian Piper took up the role of interim CEO at Ebbsfleet Development Corporation in September 2017 where he has responsibility for delivering the vision of a Garden City comprising up to 15,000 new homes.  Ian is on secondment from Homes England (formerly the HCA).

Ian is a Chartered Surveyor and joined Homes England in November 2014 as Head of Land where he had responsibility for all the Agency’s central land activities.  This included oversight of the Land budgets which exceed £350m per annum, land programme policy development, including Starter Homes Land Fund and Garden Villages. 

Ian has a career that spans the public and private sector and he has worked at a local, regional and national level.  Immediately prior to joining the HCA Ian was Chief Executive of Forward Swindon – the economic development company owned by the Borough Council.  From 1999 to 2010 Ian worked for the South West Regional Development Agency where he was Director of Development and Regeneration.  Ian had previously worked with the London Docklands Development Corporation and the private sector with developers Alfred McAlpine, YJ Lovell, Bovis and Wimpey. Between 1990 and 1998, he worked as a freelance Economic Development Consultant, undertaking a number of commissions with English Partnerships, Tipton City Challenge and the Black Country Development Corporation.

Patrick Devlin
Pollard Thomas Edwards

Patrick Devlin leads PTE’s initiatives in Third Age Housing. In 2009 he coordinated the highly influential HAPPI report - Housing our Aged Population Panel for Innovation. His current preoccupation is co-housing, an innovative form of cooperative housing well suited to older people. He writes and speaks on the subject, drawing on the latest research and on personal experience. 

Patrick has substantial experience in the housing, mixed-use and regeneration sectors, and has both designed and delivered a series of successful and award-winning projects, ranging from large-scale masterplans to infill sites and refurbishments. 

Dr Jenny Thomas
Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government

Dr Jenny Thomas is Head of Built Environment at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. She leads the design team within the department, who recently organised the first Government conference on design quality. 


Previously, Jenny was founder and managing director of Performance Consultancy, specialists in post-occupancy evaluation and evidence-based design. Before that, Jenny worked as Director of Research for Ryder Architecture and Head of Research and Policy for the British Council for School Environments.  


Jenny comes from an academic background in psychology and the Built Environment, and completed doctoral research into the impact of workplace environments on satisfaction and productivity. 

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