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The AJ More Homes, Better Homes campaign continues with three calls to action

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The AJ More Homes, Better Homes recommendations that will be presented to government this spring

Just before Christmas, the AJ put together a housing think tank to generate ideas on how to encourage mass house building while preserving design quality. The roundtable discussion is part of the AJ More Homes, Better Homes campaign, which continues into 2013 in the lead-up to the recommendations that will be presented to government this spring.

Sponsored by the Rooflight Company, the panel met over lunch at the Groucho Club, where they thrashed out firm action points to enshrine design quality without inhibiting investment and growth. From taxation to property valuations, planning reform to prefabrication, their views are presented in a special eight-page feature on pages 60-67 of this week’s magazine.

We couldn’t have asked for a better panel. The cast was diverse and high-profile - from developers to architects to politicians - and included PRP chair Andy von Bradsky, a key member of the three-strong panel appointed by the government to review housing codes and regulations.

Three very clear calls to action emerged from the wide-ranging discussion.

1) A call for technical standards for housing to be consolidated and simplified into a single document.

2) A call for a national housing design guide, which, like the London Housing Design Guide, would include minimum space standards.

3) A call for the promotion and celebration of good housing design to highlight exemplars.

We are interested in your feedback on these three calls to action as we prepare to make our recommendations to the government taskforce pending its review. And, to tackle the third point - the promotion of exemplars - we are currently seeking completed projects that exemplify good-quality housing design across typologies - for example self-build, affordable, and so on - to be published in a special AJ housing issue in March. This pattern book of the UK’s best homes will aim to enthuse planners and government with inspiration and aspiration.

A special thanks to the attendees, who included former housing minister Nick Raynsford MP, Sherin Aminossehe from the Cabinet Office, Matt Bell of the Berkeley Group, Claire Bennie of Peabody, Roger Zogolovitch of SolidSpace, John Slaughter from the Home Builders Federation, Alex Ely of Mae Architects (author of the London Housing Design Guide), Alison Brooks of ABA, Paul Karakusevic of Karakusevic Carson, Gerard Maccreanor of Maccreanor Lavington, Paul Monaghan of AHMM, Building Regulations expert Geoff Wilkinson, and our discussion chair, Paul Finch.

For more information on our ongoing campaign and coverage to date, and to leave a comment with your feedback on the campaign and its direction, visit theaj.co.uk/morehomes, or email richard.waite@emap.com or emily.booth@emap.com.



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Readers' comments (1)

  • I would suggest that all residential developments consisting of 5 dwellings or more must include dwellings designed by a chartered architect, and be within a layout designed by a professional with an MA in urban design. Regards, Richard Riley, urban designer at Leicester City Council.

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