The Government believes that good design is fundamental to creating attractive, safe and healthy places, where people genuinely want to live. Furthermore, high quality design is key to making development acceptable. The Housing White Paper published in February this year set out a number of measures to strengthen national planning policy on design.
Included in these proposals are measures to strengthen the role of design expectations and pre-application discussions on design. Local and Neighbourhood plans are an essential way to give communities a stronger voice in the design of new housing, and to influence the design of what gets built in their area. As part of the White Paper we also set out our ambition to make clear that design should not be used as a valid reason to object to development where it accords with clear design expectations.
Following the Housing White Paper consultation, we are now considering the responses to these proposals on design, with a view to publishing a revised National Planning Policy Framework for consultation in early 2018.
As a further measure to support increased design capacity within local planning authorities, we announced the Planning Delivery Fund on 4 December 2017. This £25 million fund will help to support a step change in design quality of new development, as well as design advice and support to local planning authorities delivering growth.