Buckinghamshire Council selected as a pilot area to test use of Design Codes in the planning process
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.
As part of the testing programme, the Council will be working with residents and stakeholders to develop a new Design Code for Buckinghamshire.
Councillor Gareth Williams, Cabinet Member for Planning and Regeneration at Buckinghamshire Council, 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.‘
The new national design code will ensure future developments are beautiful and fit in with local character and 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.
The shortlisted councils will take part in a six-month testing programme to apply the National Model Design Code (NMDC) in their area and help Britain Build Back Better, by making sure current and new residents alike will benefit from beautiful homes in well-designed neighbourhoods.
It is intended to provide councils with the guidance and parameters to shape new developments in a way which reflects what their communities truly want.
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. The government recently consulted on changes to the National Planning Policy Framework to take this forward, alongside the draft NMDC.
Following the consultation period, more than 70 Expression of Interest submissions were received to test the NMDC, with representation from every region of England.
The final 14 applicants were then shortlisted to ensure a geographical spread and a range of development types, including an urban conservation area with industrial heritage, town centres, new neighbourhoods, rural settlements and urban regeneration sites. Each pilot receives a £50,000 grant to carry out the project.
The 14 Councils taking part in the pilot are :
- Buckinghamshire Council (South East)
- Colchester Borough Council, Tendring District Council, Essex County Council (East)
- Dacorum Borough Council (East)
- Guildford Borough Council (South East)
- Herefordshire Council (West Midlands)
- Hyndburn Borough Council (North West)
- Leeds City Council (Yorkshire and Humber)
- Mid Devon Council (South West)
- Newcastle City Council (North East)
- North West Leicestershire District Council (East Midlands)
- Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council (West Midlands)
- Portsmouth City Council (South East)
- Sefton Council (North West)
- Southwark Council (London)
As the project develops further details on how to get involved in the new Design Code will be published on the Buckinghamshire Council website www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk.
*Source of article : Press release from Buckinghamshire Council.