Changing the perception of development

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Despite the evidence of need, development can attract resistance from existing residents. There are many reasons for this; new housing often means bland housing estates of standardised house designs and with minimum space standards, out of place with the local vernacular and context.

Local distinctiveness and the cultural identity of villages can be eroded over time. Communities then feel the need to object to development and the planning process tends to become adversarial and political.

Yet it does not have to be this way. As well as meeting specialist housing needs and supporting key services and facilities, providing smaller flexible accommodation releases existing family housing in the village.

Re-balancing the housing stock also helps retain the social diversity of the village and avoids them turning into what some have predicted could become monocultural wealthy ghettos.

Layout, design, character and mix are key to successful schemes. There is a responsibility on new developments to avoid the design mistakes of the past that often created bland housing estates that lacked quality, with no local distinctiveness or character.

Village Foundations’ aim is to leave a lasting legacy in the communities where it delivers housing. Based on a test of the invisible development, we strive to complete developments that appear to have been part of the local vernacular for many years.