Editor: Among opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer’s recent promises about housing, the one that stood out was his pledge to build Georgian-style homes in urban areas. It is easy to see why: Georgian architecture has created some of the UK’s most desirable and aesthetically pleasing homes.

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Given our country’s track record of building cheap, high-density housing, it’s no wonder Georgian architecture’s timeless allure appeals so much to policymakers. It offers a route away from the functional, beige apartment blocks that dominate our urban estates and lack the personality and warmth of the Georgian style.

City & Country has converted many elegant period properties into modern dwellings, and our new-build homes incorporate these principles in a modern way. This has given us some insight into why heritage properties work so well and have stood the test of time. Their proportions, tall windows and elegant designs let natural light fill the rooms, creating bright, characterful living spaces.

Then there is the detail. Refined front doors, well-proportioned entrances and simple brick arches highlight the building’s scale and rhythm. Their simple forms and evident craftsmanship are aesthetically pleasing and create something with personality.

But the Georgians also understood that a building is part of the landscape and interacts with its setting. Using locally sourced materials brings an identity that ties it to its surrounding environment, deepening its sense of place.

Georgian townhouses don’t have to be large, single-family dwellings. They lend themselves to apartment living; think of Bath’s Royal Crescent and Edinburgh’s New Town. Using them for high-density urban living is entirely possible. As new builds, they can also be smart, energy efficient and designed for modern living.

However, if Starmer’s idea is to stand the test of time, it needs to be designed by architects and developers who understand history and don’t just apply token Georgian details. Georgian buildings were not only beautiful; they were also extremely well built with close attention to detail. Success will depend not only on good design, but also on the quality of the implementation.

Simon Vernon-Harcourt, design and planning director, City & Country