Design & Architecture

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National Model Design Code may not be issued until early next year, chief planner reveals

National Model Design Code may not be issued until early next year, chief planner reveals

The government's National Model Design Code may not be published until early next year, the government's chief planner has revealed, after she told a conference that it should be issued "within the next couple of months”.

Piers Morgan’s ‘man cave’ plans revealed

Piers Morgan’s ‘man cave’ plans revealed

A report on TV presenter Piers Morgan's application to install a spherical 'man cave' pod in his back garden leads our round of today's newspapers.

Jenrick announces review to examine effectiveness of council self-build duties

Jenrick announces review to examine effectiveness of council self-build duties

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick has launched a review of the effectiveness of the duties placed on councils to support the delivery of self- and custom-built homes, which includes writing to authorities to ensure they consider demand for such housing when allocating land and making planning decisions.

What we know about the government's new design advisory body

What we know about the government's new design advisory body

While the precise form of the new national design advisory body is yet to be determined, it is unlikely to have formal planning powers, the government has revealed. Experts say it is important that the new body does not impose a national design vision and acknowledges local distinctiveness.

Planners 'need major retraining to write design codes'

Planners 'need major retraining to write design codes'

Planners would need a "major retraining programme" to be able to write design codes as part of a proposed Whitehall push to roll out such guidelines across the country, an adviser to a government commission on improving design quality has suggested.

Report calls for further planning changes to help build 75,000 modular homes a year

Report calls for further planning changes to help build 75,000 modular homes a year

A new report endorsed by a government advisor calls on ministers to make further changes to the planning system to help the delivery of 75,000 modular homes a year, including the "fast-tracking” of consents for such developments.

Latest Design & Architecture Comment

Letter: Who gets to decide what is and isn’t ‘beautiful’?

I really struggle with the government’s constant use of the word ‘beauty’. Its aim is to build beautifully and build more. The first question that comes to mind is: what is the definition of beauty?

Interview: Ben Bolgar, advisor to the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission, on the challenges and opportunities of using design codes

The government's Planning For The Future white paper sets out ambitions to make the use of "locally-produced design codes" a central part of plan-making.

Why knocking down more homes would help save the planet, by Chris Brown

Is it time to knock down all our old houses? Our old buildings are leaky, expensive to heat and destroying the planet. We can build new homes that are close to zero carbon to run and cost next to nothing to heat.

Planners are accessories to today's housing crimes, by Graeme Bell

The yacht lurches, the mooring lines groan, the halyards slap noisily against the mast, rain lashes the pontoon. I write this from the cabin of a yacht on the south coast, storm bound as the last knockings of Hurricane Lorenzo pass through.

Design guidance never creates well designed places, by Chris Brown

We aren't short of guidance on what makes a good place so it's intriguing to see Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) commissioning consultancy Tibbalds to write a 'visual design guide' to form part of the Planning Practice Guidance supporting the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)

Caustic style will subvert Scruton's beauty crusade, by Chris Brown

Last month I went to the inaugural Colin Amery Memorial Lecture. It was delivered by Sir Roger Scruton, the new chair - for now - of the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission (BBBBC).

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Design & Architecture In Depth

Where are the chief placemakers that ministers want all councils to employ?

Where are the chief placemakers that ministers want all councils to employ?

The white paper envisages all councils will employ senior managers responsible for place. We meet professionals already in similar roles

Why some design codes work and others fail

Why some design codes work and others fail

Design codes are meant to set rules that new development must meet. The government thinks communities could use them to control the look of local schemes. But some high profile codes have proved impossible to enforce. So what makes for a workable and effective design code?

Why a proposal to cut out councillors from planning decision-making is unlikely to be taken forward

Why a proposal to cut out councillors from planning decision-making is unlikely to be taken forward

Among the radical proposals to reshape the planning system from an influential think tank, a recommendation to remove councillors from making decisions is unlikely to gain much traction with ministers, say observers.

The challenges facing the planned fast-track route for 'beautiful' schemes

The challenges facing the planned fast-track route for 'beautiful' schemes

Practitioners have cautiously welcomed a government-backed proposal to introduce fast-track planning approvals for well-designed developments, but have warned of a number of potential obstacles before it can be effectively implemented, including a lack of local authority skills.