Mansfield selected for pilot to shape design of neighbourhoods

Residents in Mansfield will lead the way in shaping the future design of their neighbourhoods under a trailblazing new design programme.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities made the announcement today (Friday 11 March 2022).

As part of the government’s plans to level up for communities across the country, Mansfield has been awarded £120,000 to help residents set their own standards for design in their local area, which could include architecture, building materials, standards for sustainability and street layout.

Under the proposals, Mansfield District Council will develop a design code focused on regenerating Mansfield Town centre, delivering homes, new opportunities for economic growth and improving public spaces.  

Design codes are a collection of design principles that will guide local areas to deliver more beautiful, sustainable and liveable places and communities – such as specifying the use of local building materials or deciding the layout of streets.

Housing Minister Rt Hon Stuart Andrew MP said: “We want to give local people, including those in Mansfield, power over what their neighbourhoods look like and make sure all new developments enhance their surroundings and preserve local character and identity.

“Whether that’s choosing red brick for new buildings in our industrial heartland cities or choosing to set standards for sustainability for newbuild homes, our Pathfinder Programme will help turn visions of greener, more beautiful homes and places into standards which developers adhere to.”

Cllr Stuart Richardson, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration and Growth, said: “We welcome today’s announcement that Mansfield District Council will be receiving £120,000 in Government funding to help us draw up new and more detailed planning guidance for developers who are seeking to bring new schemes to the town centre.

“This guidance will help to set parameters for developers in terms of the look and scale of new buildings, the contribution they make to the wider area and the quality of public open space and it will ultimately drive up the quality of any new buildings planned for the town centre.

“As per the commitment in the Local Plan, the council would always have made sure that this guidance was drawn up but this Design Code Pathfinders funding will enable us to do this more quickly and with the aid of design experts who advise central government.”

“This will help to support the ambitions of our emerging Town Centre Masterplan by guiding redevelopments schemes that are likely to emerge from this once-in-a-generation opportunity to re-imagine and adapt our town centre to meet the challenges of the 21st Century.”   

The design codes produced by areas such as Mansfield, will then be used as examples that communities across the country can draw on to produce their own, with support from the Office for Place.

The Design Code Pathfinder Programme, in line with the missions set out in the Levelling Up White Paper, will empower communities to demand the creation of development they can be proud of, with many projects focusing on regeneration of neighbourhoods and town centres.

The 25 areas, which will share £3 million funding, will produce design codes that will shape new development to deliver thriving town centres, green infrastructure, new walking and cycle routes.

The National Model Design Code (NMDC), published last year, will help guide selected local councils and neighbourhood planning groups on important design features such as street character, building type and layout, and use of public space. 

Last year, the Office for Place supported 14 councils and communities to set standards for design in their area, using the National Model Design Code. 

Issued by Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC).

Published: March 11th 2022