Welsh Development Quality Requirements 2021 – Creating Beautiful Homes and Places

Written by Chris Seeley

As part of focussing on Wales during our ARK Amble for Shelter Cymru in December, we have been looking at the Welsh Development Quality requirements.

We know our Welsh colleagues will have been living and breathing the new 2021 Quality Requirements since they were released but our take is that colleagues in the rest of the UK could do a lot worse than have a look at the requirements.

The document only runs to 6 pages but there is significant aspiration packed into those pages for instance the requirement to achieve EPC A (SAP92 or greater), be designed to “comply fully with the “Secured by Design” (SBD) Gold standard” and “Gigabit ready broadband connectivity, for example, fibre to the premises (FTTP) or gigabit wireless technologies, shall be provided to every home.

The Welsh Government encourages housing providers and their consultants to aim for standards beyond the minimum requirements specified here and to adopt a holistic view of quality, recognising the benefit that quality and culturally suitable homes will have on both physical and mental well-being for all.

There is a “focus on the role of placemaking, be visually attractive and be both environmentally and ecologically sustainable as a result of good design”

Decarbonisation, sustainability, design and placemaking are riven through the requirements, MMC is a preferred delivery solution.

Achieving EPC A will be interesting, our colleagues in Wales are some way down the route for instance Pobl delivering 47 EPC A-rated homes in 20/21.

The requirements are a curious mix of must do and preferred approaches and exhortations to maximise or minimise and non-specific guidance but for all of that the must-do’s represent a step-change for providers in the principality and Wales was already pushing the forefront of the standards boundary.

So, if you are a social housing developer outside of Wales, we urge you take time out to read the six pages of the requirements.

Chris Seeley, ARK Director

Chris has a strong track record in sourcing, delivering and selling homes; strategic asset management; project and programme management.

Chris has undertaken a wide variety of interim and project management roles across development-site sourcing, business development and project management as well as procurement and research projects.