Chaper 5 – Topic Policies
Section A – Housing
HOU12 Residential Space Standards (Internal) (2016 Draft / 2017 Main Changes)
The Government has introduced a set of Nationally Described Space Standards. The national space standards are based upon the areas required to accommodate essential furniture and storage items and the need for the occupants to be able to circulate around them. Good practice would be to exceed these standards where practical in order to provide a good range of accommodation.
(This text was formerly contained under Homes Suitable for family occupation as para 5.98- see HOU13)
The amount of space for cooking, living and eating is not defined in the new standards. The rooms used for those purposes are important areas for families to interact and usually include areas for play, study and storage as well as the basic functions of each of these areas. Although one large room is sometimes provided to accommodate all of these functions in homes designed for one or two people, this is not usually an appropriate layout for family occupation. At least two separate rooms, rather than one large room, should therefore be provided to accommodate cooking, eating and living in homes suitable for family occupation with three or more bedrooms. Provision of a separate room does not necessarily require any increase to the gross internal floor area.
It may, very occasionally, be necessary to make an exception to development meeting the national minimum standards, for example, in the case of the conversion of historic buildings where it may be desirable to maintain important and distinctive characteristics that contribute to the character of the building. However, without strong justification, proposals which do not comply with the standards are unlikely to be acceptable.