The opportunity for the residential development sector at present is unrivalled. We have all been exposed to our homes and neighborhoods at times, all day, every day.
This has encouraged us to consider whether the space and place is fit for purpose for a whole range of requirements. How these spaces are re-imagined and designed will play a crucial role to help society emerge positively from the Covid-19 pandemic.
With the revisions to the National Planning Policy Framework, the National Model Design Code and the introduction of an Office for Place, there is a driving force by the Government and from within the sector to deliver outstanding design and place making.
The aspiration for future residential development schemes is now much more than just the aesthetic. Whilst early investment in the infrastructure and delivering a high quality environment is important, the focus should also be on delivering new neighborhoods which will integrate with existing communities. The residential development sector has an integral role to play in delivering new homes suitable for a variety of people and ranging affordability. Creating mixed-use developments which deliver sustainability, health and wellbeing, inclusiveness, connectivity, and enable a diverse and integrated lifestyle all contribute social value, which alongside good development principles, should be fostered from the outset, at planning stage.
Attention has been placed on our impact within the surroundings we live. There is an opportune moment for the sector to improve its environmental impact by embracing carbon zero initiatives. The shift towards Modern Methods of Construction and sustainable energy sources would not only help increase housing delivery but also reduce carbon emissions. In addition, the requirement for new housing schemes to deliver biodiversity net gain provides the opportunity for landowners and housebuilders to enhance and educate the new communities they create through green living initiatives.
The residential and development sector has an unrivalled opportunity to embrace the shift within planning policy by delivering sustainable and green schemes for individuals who want more from the place and space they call home.
I’m looking forward to representing Savills at the Next Generation panel discussion and sharing these thoughts.
Abigail Jones, Associate Director, Residential Development, Savills