Design & Architecture

News and in-depth coverage of urban design & architecture for town planners.

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Latest Design & Architecture News

Judge overturns flat conversion refusal, saying council's reasoning was 'fanciful'

Judge overturns flat conversion refusal, saying council's reasoning was 'fanciful'

A London council has lost a legal challenge against a planning inspector's decision to overturn one of its decisions, after a judge ruled that the fact that an aspect of the scheme had been built in breach of conditions did not justify refusal of the application.

How the NPPF revisions would change the system, Part 3: design quality

How the NPPF revisions would change the system, Part 3: design quality

In the latest of a series of briefings on the final revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), we look at its policies on design standards and examine responses from key sector organisations.

New NPPF's design policies too subjective, leading QC warns

New NPPF's design policies too subjective, leading QC warns

A leading planning silk has raised concerns that the revised National Planning Policy Framework's (NPPF) new policies aiming to boost design standards may be too subjective and are likely to result in prolonged arguments at committee meetings.

Government hopes autonomous vehicles will free up land for new homes

Government hopes autonomous vehicles will free up land for new homes

Self-driving cars could allow large urban areas to be redeveloped for housing, according to a government call for evidence on a future urban transport strategy.

How planners have reacted to heightened policy emphasis on quality

How planners have reacted to heightened policy emphasis on quality

National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) revisions emphasising the need for high-quality development have been welcomed in principle, but some question whether the government's aspirations are achievable in practice.

Design quality hailed as 'fundamental' in revised policy framework

Design quality hailed as 'fundamental' in revised policy framework

The creation of high-quality buildings and places is 'fundamental' to what the planning and development process should achieve, revised national planning policy issued today insists.

Latest Design & Architecture Comment

Government has been tinkering with custom build guidance, by Chris Brown

The government has been doing some tinkering with the planning practice guidance (PPG) for custom build housing over the summer.

Holding onto sense of place in east London, by Ibrahim Michael Maiga

The many luxury flats being developed in prominent locations in Hackney, east London, give a strong sense that demographic change is accelerating.

Institute can highlight non-financial real estate value, by Chris Brown

Last week saw the launch of the Bartlett Real Estate Institute (BREI), which will be moving into business innovation hub Here East in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London in October.

This tragedy should inspire positive change, by Chris Brown

It's hard, given the events in West London, to write about anything else, but it is also hard, in the absence of any concrete information on the causes, to comment on this tragedy. It may turn out that someone did something wrong negligently (or in other ways), but it also seems possible that this is the unimaginably tragic result of system failure.

Planning for custom build and community-led housing, by Chris Brown

The irrational fear of the unknown is a powerful barrier to positive change not least in planning for housing delivery.

Individuals can still make a difference, for good or ill, by Chris Brown

Sometimes events happen in serendipitous sequence.

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Design & Architecture In Depth

Policy Briefing: Are London developers giving up on tall buildings?

Policy Briefing: Are London developers giving up on tall buildings?

Does a drop in the number of planning applications for tall buildings indicate a trend or a blip? Grant Leggett weighs up the issue.

Five things we learned from the government's design quality event

Five things we learned from the government's design quality event

This week, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government hosted a conference on design quality to ensure that new homes meet high standards. Here are five things we learned from the event.

Why many councils may soon have to set minimum density standards

Why many councils may soon have to set minimum density standards

Planning authorities will be required to set minimum density standards in town and city centres in areas that are short of the land required to meet development need.

How we did it: Winning consent for an 'exceptional' home

How we did it: Winning consent for an 'exceptional' home

Plans for an eco home in Devon had to pass a tough test on exceptional design quality, says David Dewar.