House of Lords release Built Environment Report

The House of Lords Committeee on National Policy for the Built Environment have released a Report of Session 2015-16 titled Building better places, including evidence given by MADE's chief executive David Tittle during the inquiry back in October 2015.  

The report covered areas such as recent trends in the built environment, creating better places through design, quality and standards, building for the long-term, delivering more housing and local leadership, delivery and skills. 

The main conclusions drawn from this report highlighted a concern with speeding up the supply of housing as the power of place may be disregarded and quality sacrificed in place of quantity. However, measures were recommended to alleviate such issues and enhance the sustainability and resilience of new developments without stunting the pace of house completions. Also, the report recommended the appointment of a Chief Built Environment Adviser to integrate policy across all Government departments. Another issue raised was a lack of leadership since the loss of the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE); measures were advised to address funding, promote skills and raise capacity, and to promote the concept of proactive planning at the local level since.

An emphasis is placed on the use of design review panels, when appropriate, to provide scrutiny and feedback on the design aspects of proposals as they speed up the process of securing planning permission. Witnesses consistently highlighted the benefits of expert panels and it was encouraged that Governments should make design reviews mandatory for all major planning applications to increase the quality of design and place-making and address public concerns about development.