Manchester’s restoration man Stephen Beech has spoken to Manchester Evening News about Manchester’s residential quality guidance.
Since last year Manchester has adopted the London Housing Design Guide Space requirements, which has informed building standards. Manchester is currently the fastest growing city in the UK, which is why I want to speak about ‘The Manchester Residential Quality Guidance.
Since last year Manchester has adopted the London Housing Design Guide Space requirements, which has informed building standards.
But this is on the brink of changing.
A group of housing professionals – who provide expertise in planning, urban design, place-making and architecture – has already developed a Manchester specific standards guide currently in draft format.
As it stands people can have their say on the draft as an ongoing consultation period continues.
When that comes to an end, a final version of ‘The Manchester Residential Quality Guidance’ will be put in front of Manchester Council’s executive committee later this year.
As the founder of a Manchester-based residential property developer, I welcome clear direction when it comes to developing, constructing and managing new homes in the city.
Put simply, having our own guidelines – to create sustainable and popular neighbourhoods where people want to live – is what Manchester needs.
London is London and Manchester is Manchester. The cities have different characteristics and we no longer need to inherit someone else’s standards.
What encourages me, and should reassure others, is the time, energy, thought and passion that has already gone into developing the guide so far.
It’s now about listening and getting feedback from smaller businesses that are speaking to people on the street – as well as the students and graduates arriving in Manchester.
As said earlier this summer by the council, ‘the quality guidance will demand design excellence in all new housing built in the city, set minimum space standards, and ensure high environmental standards'.
But there has to be a balance between being innovative and working within guidelines that are eventually introduced.
I’m hoping to provide feedback during the consultation period – and I hope I’m not alone.
Collectively we shouldn’t overlook the importance of this, as the final guide will be in place for the foreseeable future once signed off.
There’s only one shot so we need to get it right.
So while it will be good to realise the council’s ambition of delivering a minimum of 25,000 homes in the next 10 years – it isn’t just about numbers.
We all need to ensure that every property is built to the highest possible standards.
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