The report — A Housing Design Audit for England — studied 142 housing developments built across England between 2004 and 2019. Overall the developments scored relatively high in terms of safety and security, and were deemed ‘generally successful’ at including a variety of different house types and sizes, however the audit also found ‘that 75% of new housing development shouldn’t have gone ahead due to ‘mediocre’ or ‘poor’ design’.
Professor Matthew Carmona, Chair of the Place Alliance, said: “Research has consistently shown that high-quality design makes new residential developments more acceptable to local communities and delivers huge social, economic and environmental value to all.”
Responding to the housing design audit, Cllr David Renard, the Local Government Association’s Housing Spokesman, said: “Councils want to work with the Government over the critical need for renewed national leadership on standards for new homes, which would give certainty to councils, developers and communities. These standards should future-proof all new homes, ensuring they are accessible for all ages and all markets, meet the housing needs of our ageing population and are environmentally sustainable.
“High-quality homes for affordable and social rent are desperately needed across the country now, and councils need to be able to resume their role as major builders of affordable homes. The last time this country built homes at the scale that we need now was in the 1970s when councils built more than 40% of them. Councils were trusted to get on and build homes that their communities needed, and they delivered, and they can do so again.
“For that to happen, the Government needs to use the forthcoming Budget to reform Right to Buy, by allowing councils to keep receipts of homes sold under RTB in full and to have the flexibility to set discounts locally.
“It should also revoke the permitted development right, which means local communities are denied the opportunity to shape the area they live in, ensure homes are built to high standards with the necessary infrastructure in place, and see affordable housing provided.”
Click here to download A Housing Design Audit for England.