The interim London Housing Design Guide was published in 2010 by the London Development Agency and set out Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London’s, aspirations for attractive, individual, spacious and green housing in London. A draft version was published in July 2009 and extensive consultation was undertaken which resulted in the production of the interim guidance.
The guide is not part of planning policy with the main planning guidance documents remaining the London Plan and the Housing Supplementary Planning Guidance. The guide is instead aimed at complementing planning documents and encouraging designers to aim for the highest quality.
The guide is primarily intended to inform housing developers, registered social landlords, architects and planning officers in London. All houses built on London Development Agency land and homes with funding from the London Homes and Community Agency are expected to meet the standards set within the guide.
The central focus of the guide is setting minimum space standards along with policies on various aspects affecting the home environment such as daylight and noise.
The guide is largely centred around six key topics:
- Shaping good places: The shape of the city can be positively affected by well-designed houses with the space around the building being as important as the area within.
- Housing in a diverse city: A variety of houses is required to provide for the diversity in London.
- From the street to the front door: Access into the home is central to improving environmental quality and safety.
- Home as a place of retreat: Light and privacy is needed within homes.
The report states; ‘The final guide will be issued following the finalisation of the Homes and Communities Agency’s (HCA) consultation on its Proposed Core Housing Design and Sustainability Standards and the draft replacement London Plan Examination in Public, incorporating any necessary changes arising from these processes to ensure all design guidance is in alignment.'
It appears that no such final guide was published.
The Housing standards review, launched in 2012, cited the London Housing Design Guide as one of a large number of standards that was applied to housing, and argued that the proliferation of guidance can lead to duplication and even contradiction.