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CPRE backs new project to improve the design of houses

14th June 2019

We’ve joined forces with the Place Alliance to develop an ambitious new way to measure the quality of housing design.

We’ve always believed that new homes need to be well-designed: fitting in with the local housing style and seeking the highest possible standards of environmental performance, to create high quality, liveable and sustainable buildings for people. And now, we’ve joined forces with the Place Alliance (UCL) to develop an ambitious new way to measure the quality of housing design.

UCL’s Professor Matthew Carmona, who is leading the project, said: ‘We know much about the numbers of houses we are delivering nationally, but almost nothing about their quality. This housing design audit represents an ambitious attempt to address that gap and provide a baseline from which to make more informed judgements in the future about the standard of housing design that we should be expecting, both nationally and locally.’

The research will assess at least 100 large-scale developments across England, as well as looking back to see how the design of housing developments has changed over the past decade.

Paul Miner, who leads on strategic planning at CPRE, said: ‘We’re pleased to be supporting the first ever national housing design audit. We need to build many more new homes but we should also expect future housing developments to meet high design standards, not just in terms of appearance but also in helping us to move towards a zero-carbon economy. We’re particularly delighted to see the strong cross-sector support that this important piece of work has received.’

The project is being carried out with the support of Home Builders Federation, Urban Design Group, Civic Voice, Academy of Urbanism, Design Council, UK Green Building Council, and Institute for Highways and Transportation. The work is also supported by professional input from Arup, JTP, Spawforths and URBED and a network of specially trained volunteers across the country.

The research will be completed in the autumn and will feed into the work of the government’s Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission.

A row of limestone new-build cottages
New affordable homes in Titchmarsh, Northamptonshire


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