Newly-built UK homes have smallest rooms in Europe

All of the residents surveyed lived in homes built between 2003 and 2006 and they included flats, houses and bungalows.

The findings showed that in all households:

* 44% said that there wasn’t enough space for small children to play safely in the kitchen while meals are being prepared;
* 47% per cent don’t have enough space for all the furniture they have, or would like to have;
* 35% said they didn’t have enough kitchen space for the appliances they need, such as a toaster or a microwave;
* 37% said they or their children do not have enough space to entertain guests privately;
* 57% don’t have enough storage; and
* 72% said they did not have enough space for the three small bins required to recycle properly.

In fully-occupied properties the situation is worse – for instance, 58% don’t have enough space for all the furniture they have, or would like to have.

A fully-occupied home is one where the number of bed spaces matches the number of inhabitants aged ten or over. A single bedroom counts as one bed space and double bed as two. The fact that 90% of the homes surveyed had a spare bedroom adds extra weight to this research.

The research points to lower-income households suffering from more of the problems associated with a lack of space than wealthier households. This in turn may impact upon health and educational attainment.

Richard Simmons, CABE chief executive, said: "This research brings into question the argument that the market will meet the demands of people living in private housing developments. We need local planning authorities to ensure much higher space standards before giving developments the go-ahead."

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