Housing White Paper: a digital platform for design?
The Housing White Paper was released last month. Much of the discussion was around the support for new homes. Although generally considered a small step, we welcome for example, the £45 million Land Release Fund and Accelerated Construction programme for building on public sector land.
“The starting point is to build more homes. This will slow the rise in housing costs so that more ordinary working families can afford to buy a home” – Teresa May, PM
Additionally we are pleased to note further funding will be made available to neighbourhood planning groups from 2018-2020, this funding aims to give communities more ability to influence the design quality of proposals.
The most forward thinking aim, albeit long term, is the introduction of digital platforms on design, ‘to create pattern-books or 3D models that can be implemented through the planning process’ and ‘used to consult local people on potential designs for their area’. Although a rather vague description, this proposal could lead in an interesting direction, providing that we can avoid a new generation of ‘cookie-cutter’ homes.
‘At present around 60 per cent of new homes are built by just 10 companies” – Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Communities
The White Paper suggests listing the sites available for housing that land owners are not currently developing. As a practice working with many smaller developers we welcome Sajid Javid MP’s support for an increase in transparency around land ownership.