Press archive 2021

Savills – Delivering Beauty and the Design Skills Deficit

The delivery of this vision for beauty is reliant on a coordinated response from all in the private and public sector, but do the public sector have the skills to deliver this? 

The Place Alliance published a report last week call the ‘Design Deficit’ that reviews the design skills within English Local Authorities.  This reveals that two fifths of local planning authorities do not have access to urban design advice; almost two thirds no landscape advice; three quarters no architectural advice.  This means that in many local authority areas, there is no design expertise, which will impact on the ability to ask for good design, educate the community members and planning officers and proactively lead on design codes and planning guidance. 

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Cedrec – Study shows huge ‘design deficit’ in planning authority skills

A study by the Place Alliance team at the Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment at UCL warns that it will take until 2077 for every local planning authority to have at least one urban design officer.

The research has come whilst the Government moves to a design-led planning system in England. Planning Alliance says numerous reports over many years have identified a skills crisis in local authorities, most recently by the Building Better Building Beautiful Commission, which found this a key barrier to raising the general standard of urban design across the country.

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The Planner – Huge ‘design deficit’ revealed in planning authority skills

The Planner – Huge ‘design deficit’ revealed in planning authority skills

A study by the Place Alliance team at the Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment at UCL warns that it will take until 2077 – another 56 years – for every local planning authority to have at least one urban design officer at current rates of recruitment. Besides an absence of design and architectural skills, almost two-thirds of authorities have no access to landscape advice. 

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Matthew Carmona – The Design Deficit

Matthew Carmona – The Design Deficit

The last comprehensive survey of Design skills in English local authorities noted: “Urban design skills and capacity within local planning authorities are woefully low and declining”  Three years later the Housing Design Audit for England concluded that the design of new housing developments in England remained overwhelmingly ‘mediocre’ or ‘poor’.  The two are fundamentally linked.

Unfortunately, the stark conclusion of The design deficit, our latest Place Alliance research report, suggests that at the current rate of change it will take until 2077 to have at least one urban design officer in every local planning authority in England.

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BD – 75% of planning authorities have no access to architectural advice

Figures cast doubt on councils’ ability to implement Jenrick’s beauty agenda

Three-quarters of local authorities have no access to architectural advice and 40% have no support on urban design matters, according to new figures. Almost two-thirds have no landscape advice.

The statistics, published today, raise questions about the ability of councils to implement and enforce the government’s beauty agenda which was relaunched this week.

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BD – Beautiful places and whopping great elephants

BD – Beautiful places and whopping great elephants

The new Office for Place has the potential to surpass Cabe, says Matthew Carmona – but there remain some unanswered questions

Yesterday we came to a point of national change, with the launch not only of a new version of the National Planning Policy Framework – with supercharged words on design – but also an Office for Place to help ensure the words are delivered on the ground, and a National Model Design Code to guide the way.

The Parliamentary Review – UCL report criticises proliferation of new housing developments built beside roads

A report by University College London has criticised planners and engineers for allowing new housing developments to be built next to roads which do not accommodate pedestrians and cyclists.

The release of the report comes after a government travel survey suggested that 76 per cent of people interviewed thought that drivers should “reduce how much they use their cars” for the benefit of the environment.

Its author, UCL academic Professor 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.

“It’s an approach from the 1960s. We should be allowing people to walk and cycle to get to local facilities instead of having to get out the car every time. But car-dominated developments are still going up.”

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