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Government should consider built environment committee report – RTPI

Words: Laura Edgar
Homes / iStock_000020788340

A number of built environment organisations have written a letter urging communities secretary Greg Clark to take seriously a number of recommendations made by the House of Lords Select Committee on National Policy for the Built Environment.

The government is yet to respond to the recommendations in Building Better Places, which was published in February this year. The report concluded that the current government policy is “unlikely” to meet the demand for both the quality and quantity of housing required in England. 

The committee also asserted the importance of delivering a better built environment.

The RTPI said it has discussed the report with the Academy of Urbanism, Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation, Design Council-CABE, Institute of Historic Buildings Conservation, the Landscape Institute, Royal Institute of British Architects, Urban Design Group and the Place Alliance.

Together, the group has identified eight of the most important recommendations for the government to consider:

  • Give further encouragement to joint spatial frameworks and cross-boundary cooperation on ‘larger than local’ planning.

  • Promote the health and well-being impacts of the built environment in a more integrated way across local authorities.

  • The new process of permission in principle should give due regard to design quality and the key components of place making.

  • The National Infrastructure Commission should publicise its approach to local design impacts and local engagement.

  • Incentivise decision makers to more systematically use Design Review for major developments.

  • Encourage the adoption of Manual Streets by highways authorities.

  • Appoint a chief built environment advisor within government to help co-ordinate policy, to act as a champion for design and to promote good practice beyond government.

  • Establish a high level architecture and place policy for England.

The group of organisations that signed the letter said that these recommendations in particular can make a “significant contribution towards helping to address many of these issues”.

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