Mid Devon District Council gets £50K to develop “Beautiful” design codes

  • 14 councils across England given £50,000 each to develop new design codes [includes Mid Devon]
  • Codes will set out design principles for new development in local areas
  • Local design codes will be expected to enhance the character of the local area – for example by using honey-coloured stone in the Cotswolds or red brick in the Midlands
  • Selected areas will test how to give communities a real say in the layout, design and appearance of buildings in their area – helping the country Build Back Better

[Is six months long enough for a serious trial? – Owl]


A new national design code meaning areas are beautiful, well-designed and locally-led is being tested across 14 areas in England, Housing Minister Rt Hon Christopher Pincher has announced today (21 May 2021).

The code will ensure future developments are beautiful and fit in with local character.

It gives local planning authorities a toolkit of design principles to consider for new developments, such as street character, building type and façade as well as environmental, heritage and wellbeing factors

The shortlisted councils [includes Mid Devon – Owl] will take part in a 6-month testing programme to apply the National Model Design Code (NMDC) in their area and help Britain Build Back Better, by making sure current and new residents alike will benefit from beautiful homes in well-designed neighbourhoods.

It is intended to provide councils with the guidance and parameters to shape new developments in a way which reflects what their communities truly want.

The measures mean the word “beauty” will be prioritised in planning rules for the first time since the system was created in 1947 – going back to a previous time when there was a greater emphasis on whether a building was considered attractive to local people. The government recently consulted on changes to the National Planning Policy Framework to take this forward, alongside the draft NMDC.