New government guidelines on urban design were issued this week in an effort to end conflict between planners and architects. By Design sets out simple advice for planners on achieving better urban design. Planning minister Nick Raynsford said copies of the 100-page document were already on their way to all planning inspectors, while leaflets summarising the main points will go to all councillors who sit on planning committees.
The guide aims to promote higher standards of urban design, although it does not set out new policy, and its ideas will also inform the government's Urban White Paper, to be published later this year. Officials from the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, working with the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, wrote the report.
Raynsford said: 'Good urban design is essential if we are to produce attractive, high-quality, sustainable places in which people will want to live, work and relax. We do not have to put up with shoddy, unimaginative and second-rate building.' The guide includes practical advice to planners such as how the scale of buildings should increase proportionately with the width of the street, and picks out examples of good urban design, such as the regeneration of Hulme in Manchester and Poundbury, the traditionally designed village which was backed by the Prince of Wales.