Housing secretary Robert Jenrick has announced that a new design body will be created, tasked with driving up design standards and doing away with “anywhereville” style developments.
The body will be headed by Create Streets founder Nicholas Boys Smith, who will chair a new steering group advising the government on how best to help communities set these local rules for development and ensure “for the first time in history” beauty, design, and high environmental standards are made central to every planning application.
The new design body will aim to support communities in producing binding design codes for their local area, “massively” increase focus on design and quality in the planning process, and ensure local design and architecture is both recognised and conserved.
Speaking at the Create Streets Conference, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick will say: “For the first time in this country, we are embedding beauty, design, and quality in the planning system.
“The creation of a new design body will empower communities to demand developments are built to local preferences and reflect the character and identity of their communities – assigning ‘anywhereville’ developments to history.
“Nicholas Boys Smith has established himself as the pre-eminent voice in the movement to create beautiful, sustainable neighbourhoods with an enduring appeal, and so I have asked him to help establish the new design body that will enhance what people treasure most about their local area.”
Nicholas Boys Smith, leader of the steering group, said: “New places should be the conservation areas of the future: popular, beautiful, sustainable, and supportive of public health and wellbeing.
“I am delighted to be asked to be help achieve that and look forward to getting stuck in.”
Jenrick has also revealed the appointment of Charles O’Brien as the government’s Listing Heritage Adviser in order to help conserve some of England’s historic buildings.
“I am delighted to have been appointed to advise the Secretary of State on the programme to improve and extend the Local Lists of important buildings and places in England,” said O’Brien.
“The best way to protect the heritage we value is to identify what matters most to our communities and share our understanding and appreciation of them.”
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