A ‘minimum of space’ update to the Building Regulations has been passed in the last 18 months with one bed apartments now closer to two-three bed apartments in terms of size. One bed apartments are now 500+ sq ft whereas the requirement used to be 400 sq ft. The space standards laid out by national policy are actually optional, not sanctioned requirements. It is, therefore, up to local councils to decide whether or not to adopt the standard, based on a number of considerations.
How did we arrive at this point? Traditionally, the UK has one of the smallest sizes of houses, driven by chronic shortages and the need to build fast to cope with population increases in urban areas, a trend that started in the industrial age of the Victorians who wanted to build affordable housing near to newly built factories. Fast forward to the 20th century and, fuelled by developers seeking to maximise profits per sq ft, this gave rise to the trend for box-like, apartment blocks, leaving little room for character.
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