On 30 January 2021 the Government launched a consultation on a new draft National Model Design Code and proposed amendments to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The consultation is published alongside the Government’s response to the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission Report ‘Living with Beauty’.
Following in the footsteps of many recent government consultations this is separate to the various consultations launched last year on changes to the current planning system, permitted development rights, and the Planning for the Future White Paper. The consultation documents are available here and comments are invited by 27th March 2021.
The Design Code consultation also includes an expression of interest for the first 10 (of 20) local authorities who would like to pilot the new toolkit with funding from MHCLG. The proposals seek to improve the quality of design and strengthen the environmental objective of achieving sustainable development so that the objective is more straightforward and more clearly defined. The NPPF would require development that is not well-designed and does not take into account local and national design policies/guidance to be refused, which would be a strengthening of existing policy.
Other key amendments are proposed regarding housing, transport, flood risk policy, the natural and historic environment, minerals planning and Article 4 directions. The proposals make clear that all new developments must meet local standards of beauty, quality and design with local communities given greater say in the design of development in their area. These are significant proposals and all Leicester Civic Society members and supporters will be interested to take a look and may wish to comment.