Design Matters

Emma Davey

Residential property developers across the UK are being encouraged to place more emphasis on design and style to gain the support of existing communities, according to new research.

The report from the think tank the Policy Exchange reveals that there is huge support for traditional design. Many of those off took part in the research wished for plans to better reflect people’s desire for traditional building design, like Victorian terraces and Georgian blocks.

Apparently less than three in 10 people from London and the South East believe too many homes are being built in their area. People are generally positive about new homes, even when they are built in their neighbourhood.

No more than one in 10 respondents, wherever they live, feel new homes are currently built with good design and style and modern living requirements in mind while 41% believe the local community should have the most say over how new homes and communities are developed in the South East.

However, only 3% believe that the community is consulted while 37% of people believe developers have the most say while only 11% think they should. The survey also found that 63% believe that new homes can be built with good design and style and modern living requirements at the heart of the design process without spending more.

And 85% across all socioeconomic groups said new homes should either fit in with their more traditional surroundings or be identical to homes already there while lower socioeconomic groups are most likely to agree that architects should build comfortable and beautiful homes, and to disagree more strongly that new buildings should be adventurous, different or seek to shock.

The report recommends that every local planning authority should produce a design and style guide in consultation with local residents and local wishes should be incorporated into the definition of sustainable development.