Headlines: August 24th, 2004

The Swindon Southern Development Area is to help pilot the government’s Urban Design Coding Programme. A code is a set of specific rules or requirements set out to guide the physical development of an area and the SDA will help test whether coding at a national level can accelerate the delivery of well-built and well-designed homes for local communities.The code aims to provide clarity about acceptable design quality for developers and local communities and should speed up high quality building schemes. Developing the code will be a joint process and local people in Swindon will be involved with other stakeholders with a consultation programme being run in the community.

The design codes for the Swindon project will build on the hopes set out in a ‘masterplan’ and will provide a vision, a rationale and a set of requirements – the codes themselves. These could be urban design principles that could include requirements for streets, blocks, massing and so on, or they could be focused more on architectural or building performance.

As part of its consultation the SDA team will be holding a series of focus groups, a community involvement day a stakeholder workshop.

Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott said the SDA’s involvement in the pilot was great news for people in Swindon. High quality well-designed housing was vital to creating sustainable communities and Urban Design Code techniques were an important step forward.