Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as the saying goes. But now the Government is wanting to encourage “beauty” in new buildings.

As part of the Government’s changes to planning rules the National Model Design Code (NMDC) will aim for “beauty in new build.”

It wants to ensure that new developments “reflect the history and unique character of their areas and are beautiful and well-designed.”

The Government’s proposed changes to planning rules have already come under criticism for making planning permission easier to obtain.

Almondbury Liberal Democrat councillor Alison Munro says the “beauty” in local areas is in the landscape and care for the environment, not in buildings.

Clr Munro said: “Net zero is much more important (than the beauty of buildings) and the beauty and our cultural heritage in the suburbs – like Lepton and Fenay Bridge – is in our gardens, surrounding fields, woods and countryside, including the glorious view from Woodsome Hall, not the buildings themselves.

“Yet new planning laws will promote building on gardens, allotments, playing fields and any land not specifically protected.

Wild beauty in our local places

“By removing our green spaces and beauty spots for housing, not only do we lose those important spaces for leisure and well-being, and the opportunity for sustainable futures within our communities, but there is also a negative impact on our health and well-being and a negative impact upon biodiversity.

“Our environment will be irreversibly and immeasurably damaged yet no mention is made of this. It’s beauty but at what price?”

The national design code seeks to ensure that new developments are “beautiful, well-designed and locally-led.”

The code gives local planning authorities a toolkit of design principles to consider for new developments, such as street character, building type and façade. It also features environmental, heritage and well-being factors.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said the code means “the word ‘beauty’ will be prioritised in planning rules for the first time since the system was created in 1947.”