Building Beautiful in Britain, says Jenrick

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has this morning previewed his view of the future of British house building in an article in The Times. “Building Beautiful Places” sets out a vision of “a planning system that puts beautiful, environmentally sustainable, and life-enhancing places at its heart.”

Having overseen the largest number of new build properties in a generation, Jenrick criticises current new build planning, suggesting it “has at times been a disaster.”

Describing the current state of house-building, Jenrick says

“As we respond to the need for more new homes to help the next generation of families onto the ladder, it is vital that we not only build more, but also create vibrant communities in which people can live, thrive and find the space to enjoy the best possible quality of life.”

“That hasn’t always been true of new housing, which often pays little heed to local identity or lacks simple things such as tree-lined streets that foster neighbourliness.”

In a speech today Jenrick will announce a new “Office for Place” which will oversee design standards and ensure that design codes are in keeping with local tradition, stonework in cities such as Bristol and Oxford, and red brick in northern towns. The new National Planning Policy Framework will aspire to provide “good design, ready access to nature, high environmental standards… from Haringey to Hartlepool” and new streets should be “tree-lined” with “ready access to nature.”

“This is about putting communities – not developers – in the driving seat to demand beauty, and insist on a return to a sense of stewardship – to building greener, enduringly popular homes and places that stand the test of time.”

Says Jenrick.

Planning reform is on the government’s “to-do” list as part of it’s “levelling up” agenda signposted by the introduction of the Planning Bill in the Queen’s Speech this year. The new reforms are set to reduce the number of times planning can be objected to and has earmarked areas for development in “Growth” zones.

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