Government Design Advisor Positive About Housing Design Quality

Thu 29 Nov 2018
Issue 11 cover image

Andy Von Bradsky, Housing Forum Chair and government Design Advisor, gave an upbeat talk about national policies for housing, design and planning last week. Along with other successive housing ministers including, Sajid Javid, Andy stressed MHCLG’s focus on housing design quality.

The Letwin Review’s backing for local authorities to engage in masterplanning is good news for design. According to Andy, the team understands what is needed and are preparing guidance for local authorities, due in spring 2019. I’ve seen masterplans before that only show the maximum amount of homes that can fit on sites allocated for housing, in other words, capacity plans. To stand any chance of improving places, masterplans need to incorporate clear urban design principles.

Issue 11 image 2

Cover image: Dezeen
With the Grenfell inquiry still underway it was good to hear that we could expect further announcements following the Hackitt review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety very soon, including new Means of Escape requirements in the Building Regulations. You can have a look at Lancaster West’s refurbishment of the Grenfell Estate. There is a lot to learn from this locally-led work and it is an example of how small operators can replace the big corporates.

Andy’s session also covered key policy areas such as lifting the Housing Revenue Account borrowing cap for local authorities, the Transforming Cities and Future High Street Funds and the Letwin Review.

Until next week. Please make sure to send in your ideas to
Author: Jane Briginshaw, Design England

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