Published Tuesday, 15th March 2022

Reigate & Banstead Borough Council is one of 25 areas that will benefit from a share of £3 million funding as part of a Government pilot to support the development of local design codes.

The Council will receive £120,000 for the preparation of a code that sets design standards for the development of a green corridor connecting Redhill and Horley.

The design code will help to guide important design features such as street character, building type and layout, use of public space, and the sustainability of new development. In particular, it will ensure that new development encourages sustainable travel, including walking and cycling.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities announced the funding on 11 March 2022. It follows a successful bid by the Council to become a Design Code Pathfinder Authority.

To support the delivery of new local design codes and develop local skills, the Government is working to develop a number of pilots, of which Reigate & Banstead is one.

The Government introduced the National Model Design Code (NMDC) in 2021 to help improve the quality of new development and to provide certainty to local communities. Whilse design codes are used abroad, they are rare in this country.

Cllr Richard Biggs, Executive Member for Planning Policy and Place delivery said: “It’s great news to hear that we’ve been successful in our bid to become a Design Code Pathfinder Authority.

“The development of this design code will help to make sure that new developments enhance their surroundings and preserve local character and identity, while taking sustainability into consideration. 

“Over the next few months, we will be bringing together a range of partners including planners, local councillors, designers, ecologists and transport planners to prepare our code.

“An important element of our design code preparation will be local engagement. Once we have the mechanisms in place, we will be asking local communities and stakeholders to get involved.”

The draft design code will be prepared by the end of March 2023. The code will then set the standards that developers must adhere to.

The design codes from the pilot areas will be used as examples of good practice that other local councils and neighbourhood planning groups across the country produce their own, with support from the Office for Place. 

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

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