Mid Devon District Council is one of 14 councils in England selected to take part in a fully funded pilot programme to test the Government’s new National Model Design Code (NMDC).

The Government received more than 70 expressions of interest in the process, which aims to ensure future developments are “beautiful and fit in with local character.”

The code will give local planning authorities a set of design principles to consider for new developments, such as street character and building type as well as environmental, heritage and wellbeing factors.

As part of the testing process Mid Devon will evaluate whether the design code provides the right type of guidance to support councils and places in rural areas.

Amongst the focus will be the Cullompton area where the council is working with the community over the creation of a new garden village.

The shortlisted councils will take part in a six-month testing programme. Mid Devon is being supported by Hyas Consultants, David Hawes Urban Design and Hilton Barnfield Architects to explore how the NMDC can be applied within a rural context and how it may inform the preparation of design policies within Mid Devon’s next Local Plan.