The Government has published its draft national design code and announced other measures in response to last year's Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission (opens new window) report and to further consult on its design agenda and national planning framework.
The draft design code provides a checklist of design principles to consider for new schemes, including street character, building type and requirements addressing the health and wellbeing of local communities and the environmental impact. While there is no explicit reference to older adults or disabled people, there is reference to greater accessibility for homes and communities and it is hoped that this means that, following its recent consultation on accessible housing design, there will be a future requirement that all homes must meet Part M 4(2) under a new code.
The Government also published it draft National Planning Policy Framework. While its' focus is on beauty and place-making; for example it trees to tree-lined streets for new schemes, there is specific mention of older people (p70) and, more generally, the need to take into account planning for accessibility in relation to access to amenities, transport and services, as well as the accessible and adaptable for existing and future users. It states:
Planning policies for housing should make use of the Government's optional technical standards for accessible and adaptable housing, where this would address an identified need for such properties. Policies may also make use of the nationally described space standard, where the need for an internal space standard can be justified.
Submit your responses to both documents by 11.45pm on 27 March 2021.