Design & Architecture

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Latest Design & Architecture News

The significance of the secretary of state’s rejection of the ‘Tulip’ skyscraper

The significance of the secretary of state’s rejection of the ‘Tulip’ skyscraper

A ministerial refusal of plans for a striking City of London tower reflects tougher national policies on design and the new importance of sustainability, say practitioners, as well as new tall building restrictions introduced by the London mayor.

Housing department appoints new head of architecture

Housing department appoints new head of architecture

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) has appointed a new head of architecture to oversee its design agenda, replacing Andy von Bradsky who stepped down earlier this year.

Housing minister refuses 1,000-home Brighton Marina scheme after finding design ‘shortcomings’

Housing minister refuses 1,000-home Brighton Marina scheme after finding design ‘shortcomings’

The housing minister has dismissed an appeal for a 1,000-home mixed-use development at Brighton Marina despite the local authority’s housing land supply deficit, after finding that the scheme has design “shortcomings” and would provide “unacceptable” living conditions for occupiers.

Pincher refuses 'Tulip' skyscraper on heritage and design grounds

Pincher refuses 'Tulip' skyscraper on heritage and design grounds

The housing minister has refused plans for the proposed 305-metre 'Tulip' tower in the City of London after concluding that the scheme's harm to views of the nearby Tower of London "carries very considerable weight" while its design is "a muddle of architectural ideas" that does not comply with government guidance.

Inspector dismisses council’s cheaper rents objection and approves 100% affordable 144-home scheme

Inspector dismisses council’s cheaper rents objection and approves 100% affordable 144-home scheme

A planning inspector has allowed an appeal for a 144-home scheme in west London with 100 per cent affordable housing, after concluding that the local authority's insistence that the development should include cheaper units was outweighed by the scale of wider local need.

How the dismissal of a big housing appeal underlines the growing weight decision-makers should give to design matters

How the dismissal of a big housing appeal underlines the growing weight decision-makers should give to design matters

An appeal decision where an inspector dismissed a major housing appeal on design grounds, despite the authority lacking the required five-year housing land supply, is likely to see decision-makers emboldened to refuse unsuitable schemes on such matters, say practitioners.

Latest Design & Architecture Comment

Bijou budget means the Office for Place may struggle to beautify building, by Joey Gardiner

Nicholas Boys Smith’s new unit has been talked up by ministers, but faces a massive job for a small and newly-formed team.

Why the government's national design code and guidance lack the bite to improve housing quality, by Joey Gardiner

The government has finally published its long-awaited National Model Design Code. But its lack of proscription means that housing quality is unlikely to improve until councils start producing their own local design codes.

How to make a success of local design guides, by Graeme Bell

As the government starts to encourage local authorities to produce design guides, buy-in from all stakeholders is needed to create more beautiful and locally distinctive places.

Letter: 'Building Better, Building Beautiful' needs genuine community engagement

Getting communities involved in discussions about design codes might help them think of development differently, and about new possibilities for their local area.

What the rest of the world can teach us about planning safer streets for women, by Cliff Hague

The tragic abduction and murder of Sarah Everard has refocused attention on women’s safety, but the response of the Westminster government suggests that some re-education would not go amiss.

New beauty and sustainability requirements mean tougher decisions for councils over viability, by Andy Delaney

As the government consults on new requirements for developments to meet beauty standards and environmental considerations, tensions will grow with other competing interests such as affordable housing.

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Design & Architecture In Depth

How the National Model Design Code changes the system: the Planning Briefing

How the National Model Design Code changes the system: the Planning Briefing

The new guidance sets out design considerations that local planning authorities will be expected to take into account when developing local design codes and guides

The implications for planners of a new government-commissioned report on self build housing

The implications for planners of a new government-commissioned report on self build housing

A government-commissioned report's recommendations on changing the planning system to boost self build housing - including the introduction of local authority plot targets - are likely to be positively received by ministers, say observers. But some are concerned about the implications for councils of having to hit any new quotas and of additional duties.

How NPPF changes will give developers more control in drawing up new local design codes

How NPPF changes will give developers more control in drawing up new local design codes

A large part of the changes to the National Planning Policy Framework published at the end of last month were designed to help embed the government’s “beauty agenda” for new-build housing into the planning system. Commentators say changes to the text around the production of design codes will make it easier for the private sector to play a key role in this process.

Why applicants may now face literal beauty tests, despite government assurances

Why applicants may now face literal beauty tests, despite government assurances

Last week’s revisions to the National Planning Policy Framework enshrine the creation of “beautiful” places as an overarching ambition of the planning system. While some commentators accept the government’s claim that the beauty aspiration will not create a new “policy test”, others see a potential new hurdle for development