Essex Part of New Pilot Building Code Scheme

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Essex BuildingThe government has chosen 14 UK local authorities to pilot planning reforms regarding a new national design code for building works. The ‘Office For Place’, is a new government organisation geared towards local standards being implemented in all developments. In 2020, the ‘Building Better Building Beautiful organisation published a report entitled ‘Living in Beauty’, which contributed to the idea. The code will concentrate on ensuring that developments in the future, fit In with the character of the area. It will also demand consideration from developers of building type, street character, local environment, heritage and wellbeing of residents.

The exciting pilot scheme will see the 14 councils receiving £50,000 each to develop their own design codes. They will research and formulate design principles appropriate for their particular area. The councils involved are Colchester Tendring & Essex, Guildford, Herefordshire, Leeds, Mid Devon, Newcastle, Dacorum, Portsmouth, Sefton, Southwark, Hyndburn, North West Leicestershire, Nuneaton & Bedworth, and Buckinghamshire. The National Model Design Code [NMDC] testing programme will take 6 months.

Housing minister Christopher Pincher said: “We should aspire to enhance the beauty of our local areas and pass our cultural heritage onto our successors, enriched not diminished.  In order to do that, we need to bring about a profound and lasting change in the buildings that we build, which is one of the reasons we are placing a greater emphasis on locally popular design, quality and access to nature, through our national planning policies and introducing the national model design code.

“These will enable local people to set the rules for what developments in their area should look like, ensuring that they reflect and enhance their surroundings and preserve our local character and identity.  Instead of developers forcing plans on locals, they will need to adapt to proposals from local people, ensuring that current and new residents alike will benefit from beautiful homes in well-designed neighbourhoods.”


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