The new National Design Guide (NDG) has been published by England’s Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG), as part its ‘Planning Practice Guide’ (PPG), to illustrate ‘how well-designed places that are beautiful, enduring and successful can be achieved in practice.’
Good design is set out in the NDG under the following 10 characteristics:
- Context – theguide says that good design ’enhances the surroundings’;
- Identity – gooddesign is ‘attractive and distinctive’;
- Built form – gooddesign delivers ‘a coherent pattern of development’;
- Movement – well-designedplaces should be ‘accessible and easy to move around’;
- Nature – gooddesign should see nature ‘enhanced and optimised’;
- Public spaces – such places should be ‘safe, social and inclusive’;
- Uses – developments should be ‘mixed and integrated’;
- Homes and buildings – housing should be ‘functional, healthy and sustainable’;
- Resources – well-designedplaces and buildings are ‘efficient and resilient’, and ‘conserve natural resources including land, water, energy and materials’;
- Lifespan – developments should be ‘made to last’.
The value of ‘heritage, local history and culture’ is acknowledged as a key component in understanding the context of development, as while ‘well-designed places and buildings are influenced positively by… the significance and setting of heritage assets and any other specific features that merit conserving and enhancing…’, and sensitive re-use or adaptation of buildings also is noted.
The PPG also encourages councils to prepare strategic design policies, as well as non-strategic policies and more-local design guides.
The national design guide sets out the characteristics of well-designed places and demonstrates what good design means in practice.
It forms part of the government’s collection of planning practice guidance and should be read alongside the separate planning practice guidance on design process and tools.
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