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Design standards should be similar for all homes

Date: 31/7/2015

Planning magazine reports that a frontrunner for the Labour nomination to be the next mayor of London has committed to ban so-called "poor doors" if he succeeds Boris Johnson as the capital's mayor next year.

Sadiq Khan, one of six people contesting the Labour nomination, last week said that providing separate doors for private residents and affordable housing tenants in mixed-tenure developments - and limiting the use of facilities to private residents - is "an appalling form of social segregation". In a statement, Khan pledged that if he becomes mayor, "no mixed housing development will be granted permission if the design has two entrances, one for private tenants and one for social tenants".

Mike Kiely, Chair of the POS Board, told Planning that developers argue that "mixing affordable housing tenants and housing for sale in the same block would affect the viability of their schemes", due to concerns of their funders.

Kiely says that planners should strive to minimise the apparent segregation by securing consistently high standards of design so that the differences are not obvious even where there are separate entrances. "It is important to ensure that the design standards are similar for all the homes and the homes meet the different needs," Kiely says. He points to successful developments, where the private residents are in high rise blocks, while tenants in the affordable housing are in houses and maisonettes that open on to the streets. "These larger units are more suitable for the tenants anyway," he points out. 

mike-kiely-pos.jpg Mike Kiely

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