It's curious how time changes our interpretation of government regulatory measures such as the Parker-Morris standards; today they seem to be quoted as government intervention to impose minimum space standards in housing. In reality, they were developed to impose maximum space standards for public housing, along with a huge improvement in the quality of structure and fabric.
Public housing should be of high quality, the committee decided. They set criteria for heating, light, ventilation, sanitation and services including storage space for a single galvanised steel dustbin. But they also realised as good economists that if the build-quality of public housing exceeded that of private housing, then demand would increase. So in order to regulate demand, room sizes were reduced to be just big enough, with not an inch to spare, for the activities they would accommodate.
Of course, private house builders have now caught up, and for decades have been squeezing room space down to rabbit hutch dimensions. At the same time, our furniture has been growing. A Parker-Morris sofa for a two-bed dwelling was supposed to be about 4'9" long, not 7'. And a 4' wide TV screen was unimagined. (For our metric readers 1.45m, 2.1m and 1.2m).
English Partnerships, the quango that owns large chunks of Brownfield Britain, has already imposed a space standard of Parker-Morris +10% on all developments on its land, and Boris is working on a design guide for new London housing that has the same effect. You may, if you are an absolute free-marketeer, deprecate this State intervention in the market; you may hold that if private homes are too small, people won't buy them, and the market is therefore self-regulating, and this may be true. However, if social housing is demonstrably more spacious, then demand for it will increase - the reality understood by the Parker Morris committee all those years ago, and therefore Boris' market intervention will help reduce demand on public housing.
A Parker-Morris sized living room