The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government have released in September 2019 a new National Design Guide to help ensure that everyone has equal access and opportunity and dignity in the use of a built environment, which in turn brings a sense of belonging for all communities.  When designing new developments, The National Design Guide encourages designers to value diversity and to bring together people from different backgrounds so as to develop positive relationships with one another.

The National Design Guide provides a structure that local design guides must use as a framework.  This framework consists of ten characteristics which are:-

  • Context – enhances the surroundings; is influenced and will influence positively the surroundings; is responsive to local history, culture and heritage.
  • Identity – attractive and distinctive; has character in context; reflects how we live and today and how we are likely to live in the future and therefore a delight to their occupants and other users.
  • Built Form – a coherent pattern of development; recognisable streets and other spaces with edges defined by buildings making it easy for anyone to find their way around, which in turn promotes safety and accessibility; memorable features and groupings of buildings, spaces, uses or activities that creates a sense of place, promoting inclusion and cohesion.
  • Movement – accessible and easy to move around; safe and accessible for all; incorporates green infrastructure which includes street trees to soften the impact of car parking and help improve air quality and contribute to biodiversity.
  • Nature – optimised by prioritising diverse ecosystems to ensure a healthy natural environment that supports and enhances biodiversity; integrating existing and incorporating new natural features into a multifunction network that supports quality of place, biodiversity and water management and addresses climate change mitigation and resilience.
  • Public Spaces – safe, social and inclusive; attractive for all to use; has trees and planting in public spaces for people to enjoy, whilst providing shading and air quality and climate change mitigation.
  • Uses – integrated mix of housing tenures and types to suit people at all stages of life; mix of uses including local services and facilities to support daily life.
  • Homes & Buildings – functional, healthy and sustainable; relating positively to the private, shared and public spaces around them; contributing to social interaction and inclusion; providing good quality internal and external environments for their users; promoting health and well-being.
  • Resources – efficient and resilient; fit for purpose and adaptable over time; reducing the need for redevelopment and unnecessary waste; has a layout, form and mix of uses that reduces their resource requirement, including for land, energy and water.
  • Lifespan – made to last; adaptable to their users’ changing needs and evolving technologies; well-managed and maintained by their users, owners, landlords and public agencies.

These ten characteristics, when working together, create the physical characteristics of the scheme, help to nurture and sustain a sense of community and work positively to address environmental issues.

Here at Bloomfields, we are up to date with the latest planning practice guidance for beautiful, enduring and successful places, so contact us for guidance on your planning and development enquiries.