Why are houses in Britain so small?

We build the tiniest new dwellings in Europe, and yet more storage and living space is what people desperately want.

At 11ft x 5.5ft, this flat in Knightsbridge, London is smaller than a snooker table. Photograph: Rowan Griffiths

One left their kitchen bin in the middle of the kitchen, because there was nowhere else for it. Another said their cupboards were so small they stored shopping in the boot of the car, while Miriam and Matt from Liverpool were so short of space they kept their vacuum cleaner at their mother’s house, a good 20-minute drive away.

A report this week by Riba and Ipsos Mori found “long- and short-term storage space” – for everyday functional items such as ironing boards and bed linen, as well as seasonal or nostalgic possessions such as Christmas trees or a wedding dress – was one of the features people most wanted in their…

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