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Almost a third of new housing developments are so poorly designed they should never....

UK, 8.2.2007 17:35, (Inside Housing)

Almost a third of new housing developments are so poorly designed they should never have been given planning permission, the government’s design watchdog has claimed.

The audit of almost 300 developments in England by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment classed the quality of design of 29 per cent of schemes as poor and 53 per cent as average.

Just 18 per cent of new developments were put in the good or very good brackets. The architecture watchdog urged developing housing associations to lead the way in excellent design.

CABE chief executive Richard Simmons said all parts of the building industry had to take responsibility for housing design. ‘As it stands, consumers are getting a raw deal when it comes to the design of new housing,’ he said.

The organisation highlighted particular examples of bad design, including no play or communal areas, ‘broad’ expanses of tarmac and poorly lit areas.

CABE also launched a European design competition this week, aimed at rewarding excellence in housing design by professionals aged under 40.

Europan 9 UK has identified three sites, in Stoke-on-Trent, Sheffield and Milton Keynes, which will be regenerated along the lines of the winning designs.

By Martin Hilditch
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