Better design, better planning, better places

“The government’s ambition is that every council will produce a local design code and guide which it claims will give residents have a “real say” in the design of new developments in their area.”

“This year it will be piloting the Design Code with 20 communities and empowering local authorities to demand beauty, design quality and placemaking.”

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As part of the Sid Valley’s Neighbourhood Plan, a ‘place analysis’ was put together:

Sid Valley Place Appraisal – Creating Excellence

2018-sid-valley-place-analysis_fdii.pdf

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Indeed, there’s much more of an appreciation of ‘place’:

The high street and Eastern Town: a sense of place – Vision Group for Sidmouth

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Especially when it comes to planning:

Design visions for the urban landscape – Vision Group for Sidmouth

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The Local Government Chronicle reports on the latest steps taken by the government:

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government is to set up a new ‘office for place’ to help communities develop design codes for all new developments in their areas…

The government’s ambition is that every council will produce a local design code and guide which it claims will give residents have a “real say” in the design of new developments in their area. Despite the legislation for the planning white paper not being expected to be brought forward until the Autumn, the ministry is already encouraging all councils to publish their design codes…

The design plans build on the recommendations of the government’s Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission which published its report 12 months ago on how to promote and increase the use of high-quality design for new build homes and neighbourhoods.

As part of the plans, MHCLG is also proposing changes to the National Planning Policy Framework to place greater emphasis on beauty and place-making.

It will set an expectation that good quality design will be approved while poor quality will be rejected, and includes a commitment to ensure that all streets are lined with trees.

Central ‘Office for Place’ to steer work on local design codes | Local Government Chronicle (LGC)

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Last month it put together a report:

All new developments must meet local standards of beauty, quality and design under new rules

  • Communities to be at the heart of plans for well-designed neighbourhoods, to help us Build Back Better
  • Every council to create their own local design code so new developments can reflect what local communities truly want
  • New ‘Office for Place’ to be set up, to help communities turn these designs into a local standard for all new developments
  • More funding to help communities nominate local historic buildings for listing
  • Proposals mean local communities will have the power to decide what buildings in their areas should look like, to help the country Build Back Better

All new developments must meet local standards of beauty, quality and design under new rules – GOV.UK

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Professional town planners would certainly welcome greater powers to reject poor design:

MHCLG’s proposals for design and beauty welcomed, but support needed for local housebuilders | The Planner

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And earlier this month, the Secretary of State issued a statement – and also a challenge to local authorities to invest in creating their own Design Codes:

The interim Office for Place will begin the work to drive up design standards now. This year it will be piloting the Design Code with 20 communities and empowering local authorities to demand beauty, design quality and placemaking, through training on the principles outlined in the Code. We have launched an expression of interest for local authorities to apply to be one of the first ten pilot areas and the recipients of a share of £500,000 to support this work. We are seeking views on the draft National Model Design Code, alongside the National Planning Policy Framework consultation.

Written statements – Written questions, answers and statements – UK Parliament

   
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