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Page last updated at 07:07 GMT, Saturday, 15 August 2009 08:07 UK

Room to swing a cat? Hardly

New builds under construction

The UK builds the smallest homes in Europe, according to the government's adviser on architecture. How do British new-builds stack up internationally?

The sofa won't fit into the living room. There's not enough room for children to play in the kitchen as you cook. And where's the recycling bin meant to go?

These are some of the complaints from residents of new-build developments surveyed by Cabe, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment.

The floor area and room sizes are the smallest in Europe - the average room in a newly built dwelling in France is 26.9 square metres, compared with 15.8 square metres in the UK - and, the graph below shows how British new-builds are less than half the size of those in the United States and Australia.

Comparative size of new-builds

The Cabe survey questioned residents of homes built between 2003 and 2006, in London or within an hour's travel time of the capital.

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