Redrow: NMDC not aligned with nation’s housing preferences

Jake Carter

April 8, 2021

According to Redrow, research among more than 2,000 British adults has revealed that parts of the National Model Design Code (NMDC) are not aligned with the nation’s housing preferences.  

The NMDC, which has just finished the consultation phase, provides guidelines, both on a national and local scale, which determine what architects and developers will be able to build.

When asked to choose a new-build home type that they would aspire to live in most, only 3% and 4% of respondents stated they would choose to live within a terraced home or townhouse.

The majority of consumers (77%) want to live in a two-storey detached home.

However, the NMDC guidelines focus on terraced homes and ‘gentle density’, which does not fit with respondents’ preference for lower density housing.

In a concurrent piece of research among more than 500 local councillors, Redrow found that an estimated 51% are not sufficiently familiar with the NMDC to give a view on how it will be received by their constituents.

Of those councillors who did feel sufficiently familiar with it, just 13% believed that the guidelines would be well received by their constituents.

Councillors agreed that constituents would likely prefer detached housing for quality of life.

Some elements of the NMDC, however, such as a focus on tree-lined streets and neighbourhoods with distinctive identities were marked as appealing.

Kevin Parker, group master planning director at Redrow, said: “With the majority of the nation spending more time in their homes than ever before over the last 12 months, our personal living situations and housing needs have been put under the microscope.

“It is crucial that housebuilders and policy makers listen closely to how consumer preferences have changed during the pandemic to create the most suitable homes on an informed basis.

“However, our findings suggest there is currently a disconnect between some of the guidelines proposed by the NMDC and the views of local councillors and their residents.

“We would urge the government to consult widely with these groups on the important issue of housing design, which shapes our future communities and, ultimately, impacts individual wellbeing.

“Based on our consumer findings we now call on the government to build more flexibility into the indicative guidance in the National Model Design Code, to include encouragement toward a broader range of house types to reflect different needs in different communities.

“These consumer findings support our current thinking around placemaking.

“We build our communities so they provide residents with thoughtful, natural communal outdoor spaces and amenities which are ideal for creating those ‘chance’ interactions between neighbours which help relationships flourish and build social cohesion.

“‘Nature for people’ is one of eight placemaking principles integral to every one of our developments and we strive to provide a legacy of green spaces and natural habitats for wildlife and people alike.”

Sign up to our daily email