Now you’re Tolkein: no More Hobbit Homes

The Mayor launched the London Housing Design Guide for consultation at a conference organised to discuss his London Housing Strategy.

The guide sets out six key areas of design that new developments will have to address, including:

* Focusing on the spaces between and around buildings so that developments integrate with the wider public realm;
* Ensuring a mix of housing sizes, types and tenures at a range of densities for the diverse needs of Londoners;
* Better design of entrances and shared circulation areas, with measures to design out crime at the outset of a development, as well as car parking and cycle and waste storage;
* New minimum internal space standards including guidance on the size and layout of different rooms to ensure greater flexibility of space in the home – the minimum space standards recommended are broadly 10% cent higher than the 1961 Parker Morris benchmark;
* Making homes more comfortable places to live and enjoy by making them quieter, lighter and better ventilated
* Ensuring homes are designed to meet climate change and are suitable for warmer summers and wetter winters.

Johnson said: "For too long we have built homes to indecently poor standards – fit neither for Bilbo Baggins nor his hobbit friends – and that is indefensible. The finest city in the world deserves the finest housing for its inhabitants and when we get it wrong it can scar generation after generation.

"Today marks the start of reversing that downward trend and raising the bar, not just in publicly-funded, but all new homes built in London. I want design excellence to become the first priority of any plans for new homes and innovation, in the best tradition of this unique city, to be at the forefront of that design."

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