Press archive 2020

Housing Audit: Keeping up the momentum

Housing Audit: Keeping up the momentum

Following from the publication A Housing Design Audit for England and the Building Better Building Beautiful Commission report Living with Beauty, Place Alliance coordinated a joint letter to the Secretary of State for Housing Communities and Local Government, the Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, to argue the case for A Design Quality Unit for England. The text of the letter can be found here.

Get behind the call by forwarding the letter to your own MP, or re-tweeting the blog.

GBC – A housing design audit for England, 2019 results

GBC – A housing design audit for England, 2019 results

Philip Box, policy and project coordinator at UKGBC, commenting at the launch of the report, said:

“This report notes some good examples of industry leaders going beyond the minimum, on energy efficiency, low carbon energy and biodiversity. However, it shows overwhelmingly that business as usual is not currently good enough to address the challenges we face. Our current minimum standards are inadequate, and we need to be more ambitious if we are to meet our legal decarbonisation targets.”

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Inside Housing – The tension between housing targets and design standards

Inside Housing – The tension between housing targets and design standards

The Housing Design Audit report concludes that some house builders – especially the larger ones – are simply choosing not to build better-quality housing in England.

And even worse, the report found some evidence that some were using the planning appeals process to force through schemes with the lowest design quality.

It is disappointing that this housing audit only happened at all because the three co-authors were able to assemble partners to work on a voluntary basis (as detailed on page 18 of the report), rather than it being core funded by England’s dedicated housing agency.

The fact that they have produced such a robust, fact-filled, easy-to-read report make it all the more commendable. Read more →

 

The Guardian – Is housing design and planning safe in the Tories’ hands?

The Guardian – Is housing design and planning safe in the Tories’ hands?

Inspired by the late philosopher Roger Scruton, the government talks about beauty, but promotes ugly development. If they’re serious about good design, they need a theory that’s not skin-deep. The Bartlett School of Planning has meanwhile reported that most new housing is “just not meeting the basic requirements for civilised living”. New developments, it says, lack amenities such as green space, playgrounds and access to shops. Read more →

LGA responds to CPRE report on new housing design

LGA responds to CPRE report on new housing design

Responding to a housing design audit conducted by UCL for CPRE and the Place Alliance, Cllr David Renard, the Local Government Association’s housing spokesman, said:

“Councils want to work with the Government over the critical need for renewed national leadership on standards for new homes, which would give certainty to councils, developers and communities. These standards should future-proof all new homes, ensuring they are accessible for all ages and all markets, meet the housing needs of our ageing population and are environmentally sustainable.”

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BBC News – New UK housing ‘dominated by roads’

BBC News – New UK housing ‘dominated by roads’

A new report from University College London (UCL) says too many highways engineers are still approving roads that do not fully account for pedestrians and cyclists. It follows a government survey suggesting three quarters of people want to drive less to protect our health and the environment.

Its author, Prof Matthew Carmona, told BBC News: “Far too many new developments are still all about the car. “It’s all about making sure cars don’t need to slow down. Pedestrians and cyclists just have to get out of the way. Read more →

The Guardian – Serious design flaws in many housing estates, report claims

The Guardian – Serious design flaws in many housing estates, report claims

Matthew Carmona, a professor at University College London, whose team has surveyed new housing schemes across the country as part of a major forthcoming report, says big developers are producing too many estates with serious design flaws. “At present we are just not meeting the basic requirements for civilised living that we should expect in a country like our own,” he said. Read more →

Bartlett professor to lead audit of housing design quality

Bartlett professor to lead audit of housing design quality

The first systematic audit of housing design quality since CABE was scrapped has been announced. The project, which will examine at least 100 large-scale developments across England, will feed into the work of the government’s controversial Building Better, Building Beautiful commission. Read more →

Organisations back UK’s first ever national housing design audit

Organisations back UK’s first ever national housing design audit

A diverse group of organisations connected with the building industry have come together to support the UK’s first ever national housing design audit. The Place Alliance (UCL) and CPRE, with the support of the Home Builders Federation, the Urban Design Group, Civic Voice, the Academy of Urbanism, the Design Council, the UK Green Building Council, and the Institute for Highways and Transportation have joined forces to support the first ever national housing design audit. Read more →

First-ever national housing audit hopes to push design up the agenda

First-ever national housing audit hopes to push design up the agenda

A national audit of new-built housing is launching this summer to examine how design quality has changed in the past decade. The independent project, which will examine at least 100 major schemes across England, will be led by Matthew Carmona, professor of planning and urban design at the Bartlett School of Planning (UCL). Read more →

First National Housing Design Audit launched by myriad of organisations

First National Housing Design Audit launched by myriad of organisations

With the drive to deliver more homes across the country has come a loud call for those developments to be of a high standard of design in order to deliver high quality, liveable and sustainable environments for residents. The Place Alliance (UCL) and CPRE, with the support of many organisations have joined forces to support the first ever national housing design audit and to examine the design quality of recent developments across the country. Read more →