Twenty-five areas across England have been awarded a share of £3m by the Government to help them set their own standards for design locally.
The Design Code Pathfinder Programme will give communities the opportunity to have their say on the development of new homes, buildings and amenities in their area.
The codes are a collection of design-principles to help local areas deliver more beautiful and sustainable places and communities by, for example, specifying local building materials or deciding the layout of streets.
These codes will be used as examples that communities across the country can draw on to produce their own, with support from the Office for Place.
‘We want to give local people power over what their neighbourhoods look like and make sure all new developments enhance their surroundings and preserve local character and identity,’ said housing minister Stuart Andrew.
‘Whether that’s choosing red brick for new buildings in our industrial heartland cities or choosing to set sustainability standards for new-build homes, our Pathfinder Programme will help turn visions of greener, more beautiful homes and places into standards which developers adhere to.’
Chair of the Transition Board for the Office for Place, Nicholas Boys Smith commented: ‘The evidence is clear that good design is good for you and good for our neighbourhoods and civic life. Too many of the lives our fellow citizens lead are affected by poor places, no friends round the corner, less sense of community, less walking, less local pride.
‘Left behind areas have suffered particularly, blighted with fast roads through town centres, ugly “boxland development” where there used to be a neighbourhood or “could be anywhere” housing units when people want to live somewhere.
‘It is time to change this and to move from a vicious circle of generic development to a virtuous circle of regenerative development. These 25 council and neighbourhood pathfinders will help light the way to support the creation and stewardship of popular, healthy beautiful and sustainable places.’