Introduced in 2015, the nationally described space standards set out requirements for the gross internal floor area of new dwellings as well as minimum floor areas and dimensions for key parts of the home, such as bedrooms, storage and floor to ceiling height and are suitable for application across all tenures. The standards are intended to ensure that new dwellings provide a reasonable level of internal space to undertake day to day activities, at a given level of occupancy. Lack of adequate space and overcrowding has been shown to have significant impacts on health, educational attainment and family relationships. The standard is considered suitable for general needs users and also sufficient to allow some enhanced accessibility but not full wheelchair use.
Through the new Local Plan, the Council will be adopting the Nationally Described Space Standards across all new dwellings and tenures and requiring a proportion of all new homes to be wheelchair accessible.
Nationally Described Space Standard
a) The dwelling provides at least the gross internal floor area and built-in storage area (set out in Table below);
b) A dwelling with two or more bed spaces has at least one double (or twin) bedroom;
c) In order to provide one bed space, a single bedroom has a floor area of at least 7.5m2 and is at least 2.15m wide;
d) In order to provide two bed spaces, a double (or twin bedroom) has a floor area of at least 11.5m2;
e) One double (or twin bedroom) is at least 2.75m wide and every other double (or twin) bedroom is at least 2.55m wide;
f) Any area with a headroom of less than 1.5m is not counted within the Gross Internal Area unless used solely for storage (if the area under the stairs is to be used for storage, assume a general floor area of 1m2 within the Gross Internal Area);
g) Any other area that is used solely for storage and has a headroom of 900-1500mm (such as under eaves) is counted at 50% of its floor area, and any area lower than 900mm is not counted at all;
h) A built-in wardrobe counts towards the Gross Internal Area and bedroom floor area requirements, but should not reduce the effective width of the room below the minimum widths set out above. The built-in area in excess of 0.72m2 in a double bedroom and 0.36m2 in a single bedroom counts towards the built-in storage requirement;
i) The minimum floor to ceiling height is 2.3m for at least 75% of the Gross Internal Area.