Manchester to set new design standards for homes

Manchester is the UK's fastest-growing city, and it is working to set new design standards for homes.

With at least 25,000 new-built properties expected to be built over the next decade, it is hoped the new standards will ensure the properties are built to be high quality, and with features to prevent problems like fuel poverty.

Called the Manchester Residential Quality Guidance (MRQG), the standards will be established following consultation with an expert team. They will aim to underpin the city's ambition to create neighbourhoods where people want to live and include minimum space standards and high environmental standards.

Back in 2015, Manchester adopted the London Housing Design Guide Space standards. These served their purpose on an interim basis, but Manchester now wants to set out its own guide that better suits the needs of the city and the people who live there. The new guide should also provide clear direction to those involved in the development, construction and management of new homes in the city.

Commenting on the consultation, councillor Bernard Priest, deputy leader of Manchester City Council, said: "Our ambition to deliver a minimum of 25,000 homes in the next ten years, and to ensure the longevity of this prodigious home-building plan, we need to make sure of the excellence of every property built."

He explained that high-quality housing is essential to creating attractive neighbourhoods and building communities. "Setting out an absolute minimum, high standard for new homes can help us achieve that," he added.

Stephen Hodder, who is chairing the sounding board, explained that the role is very important to the future of Manchester and its housing.

"We're not just talking about the look and feel of a new residential development, but a wholesale city-wide approach to how people live, how they interact with the homes they live in and how those homes impact on the carbon reduction ambitions of the city - it's an exciting prospect, but one that needs to be taken incredibly seriously."