Audit finds new-build design is poor

An audit has found that one in five new-build developments should have been refused planning permission outright and that the design of many others should have been improved before relevant permissions were granted. 

The audit, which was carried out by Place Alliance and CPRE (the countryside charity), included 142 large-scale housing development projects in England and the findings suggest that housing design is overwhelmingly ‘mediocre’ or ‘poor’, although, there has been small improvement overall since the last audits between 2004 and 2007.

It finds that there is potential for good, affordable design everywhere, 'but we don’t do it'. The reasons given for the variation in practice were:

  • less affluent communities get worse design
  • large developers are inconsistent
  • we are not good at building at lower densities and on greenfields
  • inconsistent use of proactive site-specific design governance
  • poor design is getting through on appeal.

Positive findings were that we are delivering a variety of housing types and designing for safety and security. Read the summary of findings here.