In advance of the Government’s response to “Building Better Places“, some key built environment organisations (Academy of Urbanism, Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation, Design Council-CABE, Institute of Historic Buildings Conservation, Landscape Institute, Royal Institute of British Architects, Royal Town Planning Institute, Urban Design Group, and the Place Alliance) have written to Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, calling on the Government to respond positively to a series of the recommendations of “Building Better Places” which they feel are particularly important.

Professor Matthew Carmona, Chair of Place Alliance and Specialist Advisor to the Select Committee commented:

This coming together of key institutes and organisations from the across the built environment sector sends a powerful message to Government that, first, more needs to be done to demonstrate the national commitment to place quality, and second, whilst we may not all agree on every detail in the House of Lords Select Committee’s report, the main thrust of its recommendations should be taken seriously by Government and especially the eight we highlight”.

Collectively the organisations also offer to play a role in helping the Government to consider the report.

Notes for editors

“Building Better Places” was issued on 19 February 2016 (HL Paper 100) by the House of Lords Select Committee on National Policy for the Built Environment. The Committee was appointed “to consider the development and implementation of national policy for the built environment, and to make recommendations”. The resulting report is the first to be issued by this new Select Committee, and contains over sixty conclusions and recommendations.

The recommendations singled out by the organisations as particularly important are (following their order in the report):

  • 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 [Paragraph 84]
  • Establishing a high level architecture and place policy for England [Para 89]
  • Promoting the health and well-being impacts of the built environment in a more integrated way across local authorities [Para 99]
  • Encouraging the adoption of Manual for Streets by highways authorities [Paragraph 110]
  • The National Infrastructure Commission should publicise its approach to local design impacts and local engagement [Para 123]
  • Incentivising decision makers to more systematically use Design Review for major developments [Para 130]
  • The new process of Permission in principle should give due regard to design quality and the key components of place-making [Para 148]
  • Giving further encouragement to joint spatial frameworks and cross-boundary cooperation on ‘larger than local’ planning [Para 413]

Full text of the letter is available here

The Place Alliance is a movement which emerged following the Farrell Review of architecture and the built environment (2014).  It brings together organisations and individuals who share a belief that the quality of our built environment has a profound influence on people’s lives.

For further information please contact