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As local design guides are becoming more popular within UK communities, many are looking at how this will impact housing, and whether this is something that can be enforced. Here in Bourneville, we know first-hand the impact these design codes can have, as we’re looking to change the ones in place here for the first time in around 30 years.

Arthur Tsang told ‘the planner’ that the Bournville Village Trust began looking into the existing local design codes at the beginning of 2020, before Covid had begun to impact our daily lives. Continuing to work through the design codes, when safe to do so, Tsang worked to re-plan, which wasn’t an easy task when the document had no previous changes since published in 1985. Bournville had previously been credited for introducing more green open space into a modern planning document, as well as the start of the garden village movement.

The secretary of state Robert Jenrick MP suggested that modern changes to the documents should look at being “design codes created by local communities – not just at local authority level, but at neighbourhood or even street level as well.’ This will be welcomed news for Bournville locals, who will now be able to input their ideas and aid in keeping green areas in surrounding locations. Due to covid, this input was asked for via online engagement, emails and text messages. Similarly, pop ups were created in a social distanced manner to target the Bournville locals who did not use the digital platforms.