National Design Guide

In great anticipation to the planning profession, the government has finally published the National Design Guide. 

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick, finally took centre charge of his role and one of the first things he completed on his to do list was to publish the National Design Guide, forming an integral part of the government’s collection of Planning Practice Guidance. 

A main theme of the National Design Guide is “Wellbeing”. The National Design Guide stresses the importance for local planning authorities to deliver developments that meet the requirements of a diverse range of users. 

A topical issue within the planning agenda is climate change, and the government report on National Design Guide seeks to address climate change through design. The report has highlighted the government’s aims to reduce emissions by imposing a target of net zero carbon reduction by 2050 and guidance is provided on how design can create energy efficient buildings.  

Another important issue the report mentions is the greater role that local authorities and mayors play in enabling an excellent level of development across a number of areas. 

The National Design Guide also emphasises the need for local people to be involved in the design of places and buildings through greater involvement in the design processes of new developments. 

The report outlines 10 characteristics that are fundamental in creating a well-designed place. The government report stresses that the 10 characteristics help to “nurture and sustain a sense of community”. The Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission also emphasises for new development to be well designed and stresses for new housing developments to meet the needs of local communities. 

Some key characteristics within the New Design Guide include:

  • Context: new development should be able to enhance surroundings
  • Public spaces: safe, social and inclusive 
  • Nature: enhanced and fully optimised 
  • Homes and buildings: well designed and fully sustainable.

The report concludes by mentioning the National Design Model Code that aims to outline the “baseline standard of quality and practice across England”. As of yet the National Design Model Code has yet to be published. 

However, it seems the government will carefully consider the findings from the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission is to be published in January 2020 and includes recommendations to the Government on increasing high-quality design for new build homes and neighbourhoods. Watch this space. 

As soon as the National Design Mode Code is published, we will update you with the keyinformation.  

Article written by Asif Hussain 


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