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These organisations - late as ever to smell the coffee...

'Rabbit Hutch' Britain

The rooms in newly built private housing are so small that close to half of buyers find their kitchens are so cramped they cannot cook properly for their families, according to a survey by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment.

In fresh evidence of a phenomenon that has been dubbed "rabbit hutch Britain", the government's design watchdog concluded that much private housing being built in Britain today may not be "fit for purpose".

The survey of 2,249 householders who bought homes built between 2003 and 2006 in London and the surrounding counties found that 47% did not have enough room for all the furniture they had or would like to have and 57% did not have enough storage.

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

Homes in Britain have the smallest rooms in western Europe, with the average floor space almost a quarter smaller than in Denmark, which boasts western Europe's most spacious living accommodation. Among the smallest homes on the market recently were Barratt Homes' "Manhattan pods" in Harlow, Essex, which have 34 square metres of space and a living room measuring three by 3.6 metres.

According to the research, more than a third of people do not have enough room in the kitchen for appliances that they want or need, such as toasters or microwaves, and some have insufficient space to prepare meals conveniently.

Angela McGuinness, 39, who bought a one bedroom house in Middleton-on-Sea, West Sussex, said she ordered more take-aways because of the lack of space in her kitchen. "You could fit one saucepan and one plate on the work surface and then you had to start stacking things on the fridge," she said. "It was like dolls' house furniture. The bath was miniature too and you would have been better off with a watering can. The living room was so small there was only room for three people to sit down."

"Council housing is built to better standards than our private housing and that seems absurd," said Alex Ely, an architect who wrote the mayor of London's recently published minimum space guidelines for public housing in the capital. "As purchasers we struggle to really interrogate what we are being shown and work out where things like the vacuum cleaner and ironing board are really going to go."

There are no national minimum space standards for housing, although the size of rooms in social housing is policed by the government's funding agencies, which demand minimum room sizes. Ely believes similar guidelines should be extended to all housing, particularly as he believes a period of high demand for new homes and limited competition between housebuilders means that homebuyers are being forced to accept what they are given and are not able to shop around.

A spokesman for the Home Builders Federation, which represents private housebuilders, said the results of the survey contradicted their own customer satisfaction surveys, and the government had a responsibility to increase the amount of land available to build homes if rooms were to become larger.

"Housebuilders have to balance producing a product people like to live in and something they can afford," the spokesman said.

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Guest DisposableHeroes
These organisations - late as ever to smell the coffee...

'Rabbit Hutch' Britain

New builds have sh1te flimsy walls, pissy little rooms and a garden you can mow with a strimmer.

The term salve box, is a good one.

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All the builder cared about was the profit.

Less room = more houses which means bigger profit.

I think a lot of the new builds loose a lot of their value in the future, older housing stock will be more desirable.

A mate of mine lived for a time in a new build flat, paying around £700 a month in rent for a tiny box, at the time I lived in a 3 bed house for around £200 a month mortgage. He had a real bargain.

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The world looks on and laughs that we actually pay a lifetimes worth of earnings for these fu*king cupboards. :rolleyes:

A country full of idiots and no mistake. Pathetic.

Do they really? I have never spared a thought about the average size of houses in Denmark until I read this. I can't imagine the Danish over there having "laugh at British house size" parties.

However, there is no doubt that the size of many houses (and gardens especially) here is ridiculously small - but as long as people buy them they will build them. I'll just steer clear and let them get on with it.

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New builds have sh1te flimsy walls, pissy little rooms and a garden you can mow with a strimmer.

Yes they are small, and the walls may seem flimsy but at least they're warm! With modern building regs, they all come with cavity wall insulation. Friend of mine has a Victoria semi. Thinks it's great, "character" <_< , high ceilings, but he has to have the heating on 24hrs a day in the winter 'cos the walls are one brick wide. Gas bill of £200 a month! Mine is less than £50, even in winter, in a 1950 house with the cavities filled last year.

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The world looks on and laughs that we actually pay a lifetimes worth of earnings for these fu*king cupboards. :rolleyes:

A country full of idiots and no mistake. Pathetic.

Several lifetimes of earnings, if you please!

Someone got rich somewhere building/flogging/financing this sh*te

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Well, I used to live in the centre of Hong Kong, so everywhere in England looks spacious to me. And the Chinese can cook fantastic food in the tiniest of kitchens, so maybe we're just crap at cooking? We have smaller homes than Europe because we're a more densely populated country. Its not rocket science. Ultimately it comes down to whether we want to build bigger homes and have less greenbelt land, or smaller homes and preserve the greenbelt.

But I would say that however big your home, you never seem to have enough storage <_< .

But my understanding is that its not the builders that are to blame, its the planning authorities that dictate to the builders what they can build and they're told to squeeze more homes into tiny spaces. Someone may correct me on this?

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Well, I used to live in the centre of Hong Kong, so everywhere in England looks spacious to me. And the Chinese can cook fantastic food in the tiniest of kitchens, so maybe we're just crap at cooking? We have smaller homes than Europe because we're a more densely populated country. Its not rocket science. Ultimately it comes down to whether we want to build bigger homes and have less greenbelt land, or smaller homes and preserve the greenbelt.

But I would say that however big your home, you never seem to have enough storage <_< .

But my understanding is that its not the builders that are to blame, its the planning authorities that dictate to the builders what they can build and they're told to squeeze more homes into tiny spaces. Someone may correct me on this?

Tiny properties would be ok if they were priced as such. 20k is about the level they should be at IMO.

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smallest houses in the world and the highest prices.

clearly, "security" provided on these things is a function of ponzi lending only, nothing to do with utility value.

a ponzi always busts.

not only that, people caught in the ponzi need to compete with those that arent....this means incomes will disappear as our economy cant compete.

shame on the bankers and the government letting this happen.

Imagine...would entry level gaffs have been one penny more exensive if buildign control had insisted that rooms were of a minimum size, that kitchens were big enough, that cupboard space was built into every room, maybe doubling the size of the place?

course not...the lending wold have busted just as early.

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Guest DisposableHeroes
Tiny properties would be ok if they were priced as such. 20k is about the level they should be at IMO.

Exactly.

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People shouldnt buy those tiny flats with 8x6 bedrooms or 6x6 kitchens and prices will fall faster. My other property is a 2 room flat, 610 sq ft, 2 balconies and nearly 3m high celings, spacious and loveley, sadly not in UK.

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Well, I used to live in the centre of Hong Kong, so everywhere in England looks spacious to me. And the Chinese can cook fantastic food in the tiniest of kitchens, so maybe we're just crap at cooking? We have smaller homes than Europe because we're a more densely populated country. Its not rocket science. Ultimately it comes down to whether we want to build bigger homes and have less greenbelt land, or smaller homes and preserve the greenbelt.

Exactly, well said, not enough room for essential items such as microwaves & toasters?

And a huge fridge to store a third more food than needed ready to be thrown away once it hits its sell by date?

They should be renamed pig sty's for the greedy over indulged squeelers who complain they never have enough, it was plenty big enough when you bought it in 2003-2006 when you thought you were going to make a fortune on it, or can you only see the true size now the £ signs have stopped rolling in front of your eyes?

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Exactly, well said, not enough room for essential items such as microwaves & toasters?

And a huge fridge to store a third more food than needed ready to be thrown away once it hits its sell by date?

They should be renamed pig sty's for the greedy over indulged squeelers who complain they never have enough, it was plenty big enough when you bought it in 2003-2006 when you thought you were going to make a fortune on it, or can you only see the true size now the £ signs have stopped rolling in front of your eyes?

hey calm down...its not so simple.

who could have foreseen a £8000 42ins plasma would have come down to £500....every living room needs one....OK, thats the size of the bedroom wall, but hey.......and a place for the wifes car would have been nice too...Oh and the sprog.....well theres room in the toilet.

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Its the buyers fault, and their fault alone.

if you cant look at something and realise its far too small, then, like someone earlier pointed out, you are a f*ckin idiot and deserve it.

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Its the buyers fault, and their fault alone.

if you cant look at something and realise its far too small, then, like someone earlier pointed out, you are a f*ckin idiot and deserve it.

It doesn't stop the sh1t from being built. It's everywhere.

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Its the buyers fault, and their fault alone.

if you cant look at something and realise its far too small, then, like someone earlier pointed out, you are a f*ckin idiot and deserve it.

no, the reason for buying was NOT for utility.

It was FEAR of missing out.

Ok its to small for me and the girlfriend....we understand that..but, we are on the ladder....it means we have put a take in the ground...as the market moves up, we wont be left behind and moving up will be easy.

FEAR....not VALUE was the driver.

course, the other driver was that BTL Landlords werent even going to live in it...it was a rental and living in it was the renters problem.

Edited by Bloo Loo

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This month's Good Housekeeping magazine was also pushing this kind of thing...

Prue Leith is spearheading a campaign for reasonable kitchen facilities to be put into all new homes: a lot of new homes are built with no space for prep work, maybe one or 2 hobs if you're lucky, and space for a microwave.

The architects claim that it would be patronising of them to assume that people want to cook for themselves, and so putting the kitchen in is patronising...

Good Housekeeping argue that you can't teach people healthy eating if they don't have the facilities to cook for themselves... at a time when kitchens are being put back into schools, they're being taken out of newbuilds :( It's pretty patronising to assume that people want to eat takeaways/microwave meals every day :angry:

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This month's Good Housekeeping magazine was also pushing this kind of thing...

Prue Leith is spearheading a campaign for reasonable kitchen facilities to be put into all new homes: a lot of new homes are built with no space for prep work, maybe one or 2 hobs if you're lucky, and space for a microwave.

The architects claim that it would be patronising of them to assume that people want to cook for themselves, and so putting the kitchen in is patronising...

Good Housekeeping argue that you can't teach people healthy eating if they don't have the facilities to cook for themselves... at a time when kitchens are being put back into schools, they're being taken out of newbuilds :( It's pretty patronising to assume that people want to eat takeaways/microwave meals every day :angry:

this is nonsense

Flats ive visited are very practical.

you can sit in your one seat sofa, and while still sitting, you can reach into the fridge, grab your ready meal, reach up to the Microwave, heat it, grab a fork from the passing cutlery draw as you bring the meal towards you, and adjust the tv all without getting up.

indeed, if you leave the bog door open, a peeees is perfectly feasable from the sofa too.

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This month's Good Housekeeping magazine was also pushing this kind of thing...

The architects claim that it would be patronising of them to assume that people want to cook for themselves, and so putting the kitchen in is patronising...

Please tell me this isn't a real quote....

:blink:

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Good Housekeeping argue that you can't teach people healthy eating if they don't have the facilities to cook for themselves... at a time when kitchens are being put back into schools, they're being taken out of newbuilds :( It's pretty patronising to assume that people want to eat takeaways/microwave meals every day :angry:

Agree. The fat of the land don't need a cooker. A small fridge to keep fruit and veg is sufficient. Have they never heard of SALADS ? Stick to eating them and you'll see the kilos disappear pronto. ;)

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It was a manifestation of hidden inflation that didn't appear in the prices themselves. Bit like when they reduce the size of Mars bars.

Or when they tell you that it's best for you if restaurants make half portions, to keep you healthy you know, at the same price.

********

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The world looks on and laughs that we actually pay a lifetimes worth of earnings for these fu*king cupboards. :rolleyes:

A country full of idiots and no mistake. Pathetic.

That is so true and yet so very funny also.

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Surely nobody was meant to actually live in those rabbit-hutch newbuilds...I mean, they were just investments, weren't they? ;)

Not sure why CABE's just woken up to this - it's been the case ever since the Parker Norris minimum size standards were abolished under the Conservatives in the 80s. It cracks me up that Labour have encouraged loads of red tape over carbon emissions, insulation etc but done nothing to bring back minimum space standards.

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