Thursday, 23 November 2017

The budget and designing the right sort of housing

Yes, there are promises for 'more housing' in the budget:
Futures Forum: The budget and housing in the South West

The Design Council welcomes this - but only providing that the Neighbourhood Planning process happens - and so "gives people a voice in the future of their neighbourhoods":

Thursday 23 November   |  
Our response to the Chancellor's Autumn Budget
Our response on housing

We welcomed the Budget announcement by the Chancellor yesterday, to build 300,000 new homes each year over the next 5 years - a near 40% rise on the total build for last year. This is positive news for the thousands of people struggling to find stable and secure housing, whether as first-time buyers or in affordable or rented homes. To harvest the benefits of this increase in housing supply, plans must go hand in hand with inclusive, and sustainable housing design quality. Having a roof over our heads and a place to call home is critical but it also needs to support us in improving our health, wellbeing, and prosperity.
Crucially the design of new housing developments must consider the key aspects that turn housing developments into places people want to live and work.

Places should provide residents with: 

  • A place of safety
  • A sense of belonging, and being connected to positive social networks
  • Good transport links, which in turn provide connection to places of work, education & leisure
  • An environment where they can maintain physical activity
  • Contact with natural environment/nature
Design Council recognise the challenges facing government in achieving ambitious targets on housing supply: and the significant challenge in convincing communities of the positive impact housing development can have, from supporting existing services to enabling new ones, improving the quality of infrastructure and improving access to quality public space.
A positive response to these challenges should not usurp planning processes and design requirements – rather every attempt should be made to improve levels of engagement and contact between developers and the local community to ensure plans for development have the full support of local people and business at the earliest opportunity, preventing any delay during the process.
Working with Local Authorities and communities through the Neighbourhood Planning process we’ve seen first-hand the barriers to housing delivery. In urban areas increasing heights and densities raise concerns over their impact on services, the quality of the environment and critical infrastructure. Proposed new settlements in rural areas likewise generate heated debate about the need for housing and the quality of the places that are established. By addressing these concerns head-on and by giving people a voice in the future of their neighbourhoods, we can start to remove the barriers to development and work towards the ambitious targets set out by the Government.
Research report by Design Council – Launching December 6 December 2017.
For press enquiries please contact: Abid.Gangat@designcouncil.org.uk
The Budget was an important step forward in setting out how we build an economy fit for the future, and we are looking forward to supporting and collaborating on a number of the measures. If we are to create the high-value jobs, build the homes people need and take advantage of the technologies we are investing in, we have to value and invest in design.

Design Council's response to the 2017 budget | Design Council

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