Government choose Aylesbury Vale to implement new planning laws focussed on 'beauty'

Buckinghamshire Council has been selected as one of 14 pilot areas to help the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) test the use of Design Codes in the planning process

Friday, 28th May 2021, 9:51 am
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As part of the testing programme, the Council will be working with residents and stakeholders to develop a new Design Code for Buckinghamshire.

The Government says the new codes will: "Ensure future developments are beautiful and fit in with local character.

"It gives local planning authorities a toolkit of design principles to consider for new developments, such as street character, building type and façade as well as environmental, heritage and wellbeing factors.

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"The measures mean the word “beauty” will be prioritised in planning rules for the first time since the system was created in 1947 – going back to a previous time when there was a greater emphasis on whether a building was considered attractive to local people."

Councillor Gareth Williams, Cabinet Member for Planning and Regeneration said: “With many new homes to deliver by 2036, this unique opportunity to develop a local design code for Buckinghamshire, which can be embedded into our new Local Plan, is well timed. This Code will help us raise the design quality of new developments.

The next steps will be to fully engage with local people so we can better understand the needs and aspirations of those who will be most affected by new development. This will involve a wide ranging public awareness campaign, including stakeholder workshops and a dedicated website, enabling us to work with our local communities to create new places in Buckinghamshire that meet the environmental, health and aesthetic needs and expectations for our communities to live, work and thrive.”

Housing Minister Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP said:

“We should aspire to enhance the beauty of our local areas and pass our cultural heritage onto our successors, enriched not diminished.

“In order to do that, we need to bring about a profound and lasting change in the buildings that we build, which is one of the reasons we are placing a greater emphasis on locally popular design, quality and access to nature, through our national planning policies and introducing the National Model Design Code.

“These will enable local people to set the rules for what developments in their area should look like, ensuring that they reflect and enhance their surroundings and preserve our local character and identity.

“Instead of developers forcing plans on locals, they will need to adapt to proposals from local people, ensuring that current and new residents alike will benefit from beautiful homes in well-designed neighbourhoods.”