New housing design in England overwhelmingly ‘mediocre’ or ‘poor’, says report

A report has been published today which slams house builders with the new designs of housings being overwhelmingly 'mediocre' or poor'.

Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 11:28 am
Updated Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 11:29 am
Housing developers have been slammed in a new report

New housing design in England overwhelmingly ‘mediocre’ or ‘poor’, says report

A report has been published today which slams housebuilders with the new designs of housings being overwhelmingly 'mediocre' or poor'.

Two new housing estates in Aylesbury were included in the study; The Berryfields and Kingsbrook developments.

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The report, an audit of over 140 housing developments built across England since 2007, found that one in five of these developments should have been refused planning permission outright as their poor design was contrary to advice given in the National Planning Policy Framework.

A further 54% should not have been granted permission without significant improvements to their design having been made first.

Professor Matthew Carmona (The Bartlett School of Planning, UCL) Chair of the Place Alliance, who led the research, said: “Research has consistently shown that high quality design makes new residential developments more acceptable to local communities and delivers huge social, economic and environmental value to all, yet we are still failing in this

regard across England.

“Planning authorities are under pressure to deliver new homes and are therefore prioritising numbers in the short-term over the long-term negative impacts of bad design. At the same

time, house builders have little incentive to improve when their designs continue to pass through the planning system.

"Some highways authorities, meanwhile, do not even recognise their role in creating a sense of place for communities.

“Collectively, house builders, planning authorities and highways authorities need to significantly raise their game. This can’t come soon enough”.

The report makes the following reccomendations for new housing projects:

-Designing developments at 'higher densities', seeking 'less sprawling designs' as compact developments tend to be designed more sensitively.

-An emphasis on creating characterful places and to avoid generic developments

-Home builders must prioritise 'long-term social wellbeing of homeowners' and 'the health of the environment at large'

-Schemes that do not meet minimum requirements should be refused on design grounds, and this should be supported without question, by the government regardless of hitting housing targets in the area.