New powers to deliver more homes through the creation of New Town Development Corporations should be seen as an opportunity to set the standard in housing design, according to Forticrete.
Under the rules, which were announced last week, councils will be able to seek government’s approval to launch a New Town Development Corporation, which will be responsible for delivering new towns and garden communities in their area, with responsibility for master planning and project development. The measure is part of the government’s programme of planning reform to speed up the delivery of its target of 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s.
John Lambert, Managing Director of Forticrete, believes the launch of these Corporations is an opportunity for planning bodies to provide the benchmark on how houses are designed and the materials which are specified.
He commented: “The National Planning Policy Framework says “planning must be a creative exercise in finding ways to enhance and improve the places in which people live”, and the New Town Development Corporations are a step towards achieving this. However, once established they also need to set the standard in creating well-designed communities which make use of modern building materials.
“The pursuit of materials that blend with the local vernacular is now the ‘norm’. But all too often, planning authorities seek to use traditional building materials because it is what they are familiar with. But it is well documented that there are lengthy waits for some building materials coupled with rising prices.
“In creating new communities, planners play a vital role in in their design, and there are a variety of options which recreate the look of traditional materials without compromising on quality. For example, concrete roof tiles, such as our Hardrow Roof Slates, provide an aesthetically pleasing solution but have virtually the same architectural properties as natural stone or slate.
“By considering these types of materials during the planning process not only are they an aesthetically pleasing solution they also make the build process quicker and can therefore be used to help meet the government’s ambitious housing target.”
Forticrete, part of Ibstock plc, is one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of concrete construction products including roof tiles, concrete decorative facing blocks, walling stone and cast stone dressings.