Redrow Homes finds disconnect with Design Code

Research from leading Housebuilder Redrow, shows that elements of the government’s National Model Design Code (NMDC) do not coincide with Britain’s post-Covid living preferences. Over 2,000 British adults and 500 local councillors were polled through YouGov in England & Wales, finding that 51% of councillors were unfamiliar with the NMDC – a shock seeming as three in five respondents either currently sit on, or have sat on, a planning committee.

Whilst the NMDC encourages terraced homes and three-storey townhouses, only 3% of respondents would choose to live in a terraced home and 4% in a townhouse. The majority of customers, at 77%, would choose to live in a two-storey detached home, as this would most likely impact positively upon quality of life, with only 15% agreeing the government’s suggestion of townhouses. The results show that customers and councillors agreed on future housing preferences, but the NMDC differed.

Alongside this, the NMDC states that car parking ‘should not dominate visually’ and rear parking lanes and courtyard parking could be the solution to this. However, 70% of councillors said they wished to see houses with their own driveways to the front or side of the house, with only 14% of respondents supporting the guidance for unallocated parking in car barns.

Redrow’s research found that there was strong support for the government’s wish for
tree-lined street, with 84% of councillors finding this the ‘most appealing to them and the residents they represent.’. In contrast, 88% of customer respondents said they preferred streets with homes of the same style but with their own character, whereas the NMDC promoted ‘repetition of built form and roofscape’.

Kevin Parker, Redrow’s group master planning director, said: “With the majority of the nation spending more time in their homes than ever before over the last 12 months, our personal living situations and housing needs have been put under the microscope.

“However, our findings suggest there is currently a disconnect between some of the guidelines proposed by the NMDC and the views of local councillors and their residents. We would urge the government to consult widely with these groups on the important issue of housing design, which shapes our future communities and, ultimately, impacts individual wellbeing.”