Housing design

Housing design

The Mayor is improving the quality of both new and existing homes in London through investment programmes and development of land holdings.

A tradition of excellent housing

London needs high quality homes that perform well for Londoners, that stand the test of time and that complement London’s rich architectural history.

The capital has a proud tradition of excellent housing. From merchants’ houses gracing Georgian squares to the suburban Victorian terrace, Edwardian mansion blocks to quality modern housing: all successfully blend elegance with functionality.

Housing design standards

In 2010 the Mayor published the London Housing Design Guide, establishing a common set of housing design standards across all tenures in London. These standards are now applied through the London Plan, London Plan Housing Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) and the London Funding Standards Framework.

The London Funding Standards Framework applies to the Mayor’s affordable housing investment programmes. This is implemented through the submission of the London Design Pro-forma EXCEL at specificed stages in the development of funded schemes. 

Some specialised housing investment programmes have modified design standards to reflect the requirements of the programme. Where this is the case these will be stated in the funding prospectus. 

Housing standards review

On 25 March 2015 the government introduced new technical housing standards following its Housing Standards Review. The new system comprises additional ‘optional’ Building Regulations on water and access and a nationally described space standard, all effective from 1 October 2015.

The Mayor intends to adopt the new national technical standards through a minor alteration to the London Plan. In advance of this, as required by government, he has published a Housing Standards Policy Transition Statement. This sets out how the existing policies relating to Housing Standards in the London Plan should be applied from 1 October 2015. 

Appendix 1 of the Housing Standards Policy Transition Statement sets out how the relevant standards in the London Plan Housing SPG should be interpreted from October 2015. This is also set out in the Draft Interim Housing SPG, alongside the other London standards which are not affected by the introduction of national standards.

The minor alteration to the London Plan and the Draft Interim Housing SPG are subject to public consultation.  Following this the minor alteration to the London Plan with be subject to an Examination in Public prior to publication with the Interim Housing SPG. The London Funding Standards Framework will be reviewed and amended in due course.

Recognising housing design quality

The Mayor wants to recognise and celebrate the best housing design in London. That’s why he supports the Housing Design Awards, which recognised numerous new housing schemes in London as being amongst the best in the country. 

Housing design quality in London is also recognised at the Mayor’s Planning Awards