Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission interim report response

23 October 2019

We’ve responded to the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission’s consultation after it recently sought feedback on its interim report.

Our response draws on our May submission to the consultation, and subsequent engagement with the Commission.The main themes in our response are:

  • We would prefer a focus on good design in the built environment, rather than ‘beauty’. 
  • We support efforts to increase community input to planning well-designed places.
  • Good design helps communities accept development. But the current, chronically under-resourced, planning system does not encourage a sufficiently thoughtful and inclusive approach. We will seek improvements via the Accelerated Planning Green Paper.
  • We highlighted housing associations record of well-designed development, including award-winning schemes and successful resident ballots for London regeneration schemes.
  • Great places need great stewardship.

In contrast to a ‘sale-and-exit’ approach, successful places and mixed communities need stakeholders with a long-term interest in their wellbeing. Housing associations are one route to achieving this, with our own good practice recently highlighted in the Great Places report.

The Commission is expected to publish a final report in December. This will inform a national design code to be published for consultation, building on the recent National Design Guide.