welcomes the draft of the London Housing Design Guide, released f or consultation this morning by the Mayor of London.
The London Housing Design Guide marks a very positive step by the Mayor in championing design quality and highlights the vital importance of good design and the urgent need to set minimum standards for housing in London.
The RIBA welcomes in particular the inclusion of minimum space standards. Well designed homes that are functional and flexible are essential to a healthy society, providing choice to individuals and families, and allowing for growth and adaptation. Space is an essential component. At present too many homes, in the Capital and across the UK, are being developed that are too small to provide the space and flexibility that households require.
The RIBA fully supports the Mayor's thoughts to extend the design standards to all new housing. We should not accept poor standards in either private or public housing design standards set out in the Guide are the minimum we should expect. We need a UK housing stock that is sustainable and that meets the needs of all residents. Introducing equal standards between private and social housing would also facilitate transfer between housing sectors, enabling private builders to transfer their unsold new homes to make up the huge shortfall in affordable housing.
The RIBA urges the Government to adopt the same approach by setting minimum standards for all housing, and to understand the social and economic impacts of poor quality housing, often built without architectural expertise.
Speaking about the Guide, Sunand Prasad, RIBA President said:
"For many years, commentators have drawn attention to the urgent need to address low quality housing developments in London and the UK more generally. The social housing sector has taken important steps through adopting minimum space standards and issuing design guidance. The Mayor of London is demonstrating leadership and commitment by promoting this up to date and practical guide to set minimum design standards that should be adopted for all contemporary London homes".