Design watchdog discovers new-build private-sector homes in and around London have inadequate space for normal activity

Privately developed homes in and around London are not being designed or built to provide enough space for residents, according to new research by the government's design watchdog.

The survey by Cabe found that 47% of residents of new-build housing in the capital and the South-east said they did not have space for the furniture they had or required.

More than one-third (35%) said their kitchens were not big enough for the appliances they needed, and 37% said they and their children did not have enough space to entertain guests privately.

Housing estate
One-third of residents said their kitchens had inadequate space for their appliances while over half of did not have enough storage space

Over half of respondents (57%) said they did not have enough storage space, and more than seven in 10 (72%) said they did not have enough space for three bins in order to recycle properly.

The results were drawn from a survey of 2,500 residents of homes completed between 2003 and 2006, including flats, bungalows and houses. All of the homes were either in London or within an hour's drive of the capital.

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.”

The mayor of London recently proposed stringent space standards for publicly funded housing in the capital, with the intent that private developers would eventually have to follow suit.