Government Produces New National Design Guidance

03 October 2019

On 1st October 2019 the Government published a revision to the PPG which replaces in its entirety the previous guidance on Design. Entitled ‘Design: process and tools’ this guidance includes reference to The National Design Guide, a document which was also published on 1st October and which is to be read alongside the new PPG.

This PPG emphasises the Government’s priorities for well-designed places in the form of ten characteristics;

  • Context
  • Identity
  • Built form
  • Movement
  • Nature
  • Public Spaces
  • Uses
  • Homes and Buildings
  • Resources
  • Lifespan

These 10 characteristics are expanded upon in the National Design Guide. This Guide has been produced to illustrate how well-designed places that are beautiful, enduring and successful can be achieved in practice. The Guide has been published primarily for applicants and their design teams, local authority officers and councillors, and local communities and their representatives.

The PPG highlights the importance of local design guides prepared by local planning authorities and neighbourhood planning groups to set out the general design principles and standards that development proposals should follow in the area, building on policies in the development plan. The PPG confirms that “they are an important way of communicating local design expectations and requirements, and are one of the visual tools that the National Planning Policy Framework expects authorities or neighbourhood planning groups to prepare and use“.

The guidance however points out that in the absence of local design guidance, local planning authorities will be expected to defer to the illustrated National Design Guide and National Model Design Code. The Design Guide confirms that the National Model Design Code will set out detailed standards for key elements of successful design. The Code, which will be consulted upon in early 2020, will be informed by the final report of the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission.

The Planning team at Ridge will continue to provide updated information on the publication of this Code.