The report discusses the phenomenon and attributes it to current planning requirements.
Developers now include affordable homes in their developments in a bid to win planning permission and those creating luxury developments are said to be forcing the less wealthy occupants of these affordable homes to use alternative entry doors, bicycle storage spaces, rubbish disposal units and other shared facilities.
According to the Guardian, the trend is not limited to upmarket apartment blocks and is fast becoming the norm in the UK. It claims that many apartment blocks now have 2 separate lobbies, each with its own distinct look and feel. Buying agent, Tracey Kellett who acts as a property search agent for wealthy clients, said in one such development the affordable social housing entrance had vile coloured plastic panels, whilst the other entrance boasted ‘blingy’ glass. In some instances attractive hotel style reception areas are on offer for the main occupants whilst social housing tenants are required to enter via a side door located in an ally.
Whilst this is seen as devisive by some, for others it is a necessary requirement. Developers need to provide high-end accommodation to fulfil demand and there has to be some differentiation between a million pound property and one that is ‘affordable’.
Those in favour of the two tier system argue that premium service charges often exist to ensure that the luxury shared areas are kept to a superior standard, often with a bespoke 24/ concerige service. It is highly unlikely that those on a tight budget will be in position to afford such service charges and creating low maintenance alternatives help housing associations keep costs to a minimum.