Following in the footsteps of the bovver booted Eric Pickles approach to Localism – called ‘guided Localism’, we are now seeing more and more ‘guided’ planning.
Despite their claims that this government had swept away thousands of pages of planning guidance and regulation and replace it with a 52 page, clear and succinct document called the National Planning Policy Framework, we continue to see more and more detailed additional guidance being added to fill the huge holes in the planning system, created by the NPPF.
As an aside, the NPPF was never, ever only 52 pages, end of story. As soon as it was published, I went through it, checking for how many other documents were referred to in the numerous footnotes, detailed in the small print at the bottom of nearly every page. I stopped when I got to 1800 pages plus, as my suspicions had been confirmed. Admittedly, some of these footnotes have themselves been superceded, but the fact remains, that the NPPF was a con job.
This extract from the latest addition to the NPPF +, is tantalising to say the least, given the poor quality of the new housing currently being built. The full document can be viewed by following this link.
Housing design issues
Well-designed housing should be functional, attractive and sustainable. It should also be adaptable to the changing needs of its occupants.
In well-designed places affordable housing is not distinguishable from private housing by its design, nor is it banished to the least attractive part of the site.
Consideration should be given to the servicing of dwellings such as the storage of bins and bikes, access to meter boxes, space for drying clothes or places for deliveries. Such items should be carefully considered and well designed to ensure they are discreet and can be easily used in a safe way.
Unsightly bins can damage the visual amenity of an area. Carefully planned bin storage is, therefore, particularly important. Local authorities should ensure that each dwelling is carefully planned to ensure there is enough discretely designed and accessible storage space for all the different types of bin used in the local authority area (for example landfill, recycling, food waste).
In terms of parking, there are many different approaches that can support successful outcomes, such as on-street parking, in-curtilage parking and basement parking. Natural surveillance of parked cars is an important consideration. Car parking and service areas should be considered in context to ensure the most successful outcome can be delivered in each case.