Beauty, privacy and cupboards. What do the people really want?

Ben Derbyshire

Ben Derbyshire asks how we should approach a nationwide design code

It is now received wisdom that resistance to new housing development would be greatly reduced if only local objectors could be convinced of the quality of homes to be constructed in their neighbourhoods. The Prince of Wales sums this up in his foreword to the Prince’s Foundation publication Housing Communities: What People Want”. He says:

“Local communities must be involved at the earliest stage, and as the key partners. If this happens there is a chance that we might see rather less campaigning against the things people don’t want and rather more pro-active campaigning for the things they do want.”

Much the same sentiment has found its way into the government-sponsored Living with Beauty report, widely endorsed by the secretary of state, Robert Jenrick, which asserts investment is needed into the values it avers matter most to people – beauty, community, history, landscape.

As a consequence, the highly respected practice, Urbed (Urbanism, Environment and Design), has been appointed by MHCLG to come up with a template for a national design code, capable of delivering these outcomes. I understand Urbed’s draft proposal will be put out for consultation this autumn.

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