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Friday, September 15, 2006
Housing in the Thames Gateway
The Housing Corporation has launched a new initiative for design quality in the Gateway by appointing Tim Williams (former adviser to Miliband and ex-chief exec of the LTGSP) to chair a commission. He's going to collaborate with CABE, local authorities and everyone else to provide a 'guide to the Corporation's expectations' of quality for homes they will fund.

This is linked to a fundamental review of the Corp's Scheme Development Standards, the space and design standards to which every HC-funded development must adhere and so this initiative may actually be pretty useful, coming a day after CABE said yet again that almost all new housing in this country is badly designed.

"By agreeing with providers and planners the expectations of the Housing Corporation upfront, we will ensure we get quality affordable housing across the board rather than the regular trickle of average schemes through section 106s that seek waivers from our standards."

Quite right too. But LAs might see this as threatening their capacity to meet high output targets for new housing in the growth area, by putting off developers. It will be interesting to see how stringent the Guide becomes.

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