‘This is about putting communities – not developers – in the driving seat’
New houses should be beautiful, environmentally-friendly and built on tree-lined streets, the Housing Secretary announced today.
Robert Jenrick on Tuesday published the Beautiful Places Plan, an amendment to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) that sets out minimum design standards for planned new developments.
Under the alteration both planners and residents will “find it easier to embrace beautiful, practical design while rejecting the ugly, unsustainable or poor quality.”
The government will also include the word “beauty” in planning rules for the first time since the system was created in 1947 and encourage councils to develop their own local design code.
A statement from Mr Jenrick said: “Our revised National Planning Policy Framework will ensure that communities are more meaningfully engaged in how new development happens, that local authorities are given greater confidence in turning down schemes which do not meet locally set standards.
“This is about putting communities – not developers – in the driving seat to ensure good quality design is the norm, and the return to a sense of stewardship – to building greener, enduringly popular homes and places that stand the test of time in every sense.”
In a speech to the Policy Exchange think-tank Mr Jenrick added that the aim of the changes was to echo an era when a greater emphasis was placed on delivering attractive buildings for people that installed a sense of local pride.
Mr Jenrick said: “The cost exacted by poor homes and places on quality of life, on mental health, on social mobility and opportunity for young people is well known and well-evidenced.
“Less explored is how the decline in quality, and yes of beauty, that we’ve seen since the post-war period has corresponded with ever-increasing opposition to new housing.
“The case for new housing is more important than ever, but it is also more difficult to make than ever.
“So far from beauty and quality being a luxury, it’s clear that they are key to unlocking community consent for development and housing.”
As part of the changes the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has also announced the launch of a new Office for Place to drive up design standards.