Distinctively Local

13 May 2019
homes looking out to the ridge

The report, Distinctively Local, responds directly and positively to the government’s Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission, and Housing Minister Kit Malthouse’s recent challenge to architects to help achieve Britain’s ambitious housing targets by ‘’building the homes the next generation deserves’’.

Focusing on new suburban and rural housing, the report sets a clear challenge to the government and housing industry: in order to boost housing supply and create beautiful homes in popular and successful neighbourhoods, new developments must be rooted in their local context and offer greater choice to consumers.

Amid growing pressure to adopt standardised production methods in order to double supply in a period of acute labour shortage and rising construction costs, Distinctively Local aims to inform and inspire those who may be planning, designing, delivering or hoping to inhabit new developments, including the latest generation of garden towns and villages.

In particular, it illustrates key aspects of design, aiming to show in more detail ‘what good looks like’. The report also provides guidance and case studies that show how to create genuinely distinctive and popular places. Lord Taylor of Goss Moor said: “This report illustrates that the tradition of ‘great homes and great placemaking’ has not been lost. The challenge is to rediscover the belief in doing it right more often, and understand the thinking that goes into this – and fire the imagination and will to do more.”

Produced by HTA Design, Pollard Thomas Edwards, PRP, and Proctor & Matthews, Distinctively Local supports and complements Sir Oliver Letwin’s Independent Review of Build Out Rates (October 2018) and the RIBA’s response, published in the same month, The Ten Primary Characteristics of Places Where People Want to Live.

As well as explaining the importance of local distinctiveness, it sets out the essential components for building this distinctive sense of place and quality:

• Creating places that respond to their context
• Designing people-friendly streets and open spaces
• Crafting modern houses, which feel like home
• Offering choice and diversity to buyers and renters of new homes

Read the report here