Manchester City Council

Manchester looks to guarantee design standards for new homes

The Manchester Residential Quality Guidance will ensure design standards for all new residential property following consultation with an expert team.

Going before the council’s executive committee next week, the proposals look to underpin the city’s ambition to create sustainable and popular neighbourhoods where people want to live.

The quality guidance will demand design excellence in all new housing built in the city, set minimum space standards, and ensure high environmental standards.

A Sounding Board of experts, a multi-discipline team populated by architects and housing professionals, was brought together to develop the draft standards guide, providing expertise in planning, urban design, place making and architecture.

Manchester is currently the fastest growing city in the UK and it is important that high quality housing is built to meet demand and support the continued growth and economic success of the city.

In 2015, Manchester adopted the London Housing Design Guide Space standards, which has informed building standards on an interim basis, but the Manchester guide will provide clear direction to those involved in the development, construction and management of new homes in the city.

Following consultation a final version of the Manchester Residential Quality Guidance will be brought back to the executive committee later this year.

Cllr Bernard Priest, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “Our ambition is to deliver a minimum of 25,000 homes in the next 10 years, and to ensure the longevity of this prodigious home building plan, we need to make sure of the excellence of every property built.

“High quality housing is essential to create attractive neighbourhoods build communities where people will choose to live and start a family. Setting out an absolute minimum, high standard for new homes can help us achieve that.”

Architect Stephen Hodder of Hodder and Partners, Chair of the Manchester Residential Quality Guidance Sounding Board, said: "It’s been a privilege to be invited to be part of the Sounding Board group because I’m intensely aware of the importance of the role we have been given.

“We’re not just talking about the look and feel of new residential development, but a wholesale city-wide approach to how people live, how they interact with the homes they live in and how those homes impact on the carbon reduction ambitions of the city. It’s an exciting prospect, but one that needs to be taken incredibly seriously.”

 See the draft Residential Quality Guidance here.

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