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Nick Boles to unveil new-build standard for homebuyers

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Nick Boles to unveil new-build standard for homebuyers

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Regulation

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The planning minister, Nick Boles MP, will today unveil a new voluntary standard which will allow homebuyers to identify well-designed new build properties.

‘Building for Life 12’, which will also allow communities to become more engaged in planning processes, is a government-endorsed industry standard co-written by Nottingham Trent University.

The overall aim is to raise the design quality of new build residential developments across England and is based on the Government’s new National Planning Policy Framework.

Mr Boles said: “We need to build beautiful houses that people are happy to live next door to if we are to persuade local communities to accept enough house building to meet today's urgent need and that of future generations.

“Building for Life standards show the importance of good design both of buildings and of the public realm, and the benefits it can bring for both the building industry and communities. They are an incredibly useful guide for all involved in development. I'm delighted to commend the first five developments that meet the revised criteria for design and quality.”

Comprising 12 questions, Building for Life 12 considers three key elements: how well homes integrate into the neighbourhood; how well they create a place; and how well the development creates a street and a home.

Based on a traffic light system, the questions are given either a red, amber or green response.

Developments that secure 12 ‘greens’, and are independently validated as having done so, will be awarded Built for Life accreditation which will act as a mark of quality for homebuyers to identify with.

The first Built for Life schemes will be announced by Mr Boles tonight at Portcullis House, City of Westminster.

One of Building for Life 12’s primary authors, Stefan Kruczkowski, senior lecturer at Nottingham Trent University’s School of Architecture, said: “These new standards will not only help shape the quality of people’s homes and neighbourhoods, but they will help shape people’s lives for the better.

“We have produced a set of voluntary standards that reflect the Government’s commitment to achieve good design while also seeking to make them accessible, jargon free and useful to the house building industry.

“It will help consumers recognise well designed places to live and reward house builders for building better.

“With the continued and growing demand  for housing, it’s imperative that new developments are well-designed. If we simply build to meet demand with no eye for quality future generations won’t thank us. Building for Life 12 is therefore integral to the idea of sustainability. Good design matters to the quality of our lives, and part of this involves encouraging consumers to expect better places to live.”

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