Government-backed think tank calls for planning changes to 'move away' from high rise

A government-backed housing think tank has called for the introduction of a moratorium on new tower block building and a 'change in planning to immediately move away from high rise to low and mid-rise' housing.

Grenfell Tower: report calls for shift away from high rise development in wake of disaster (pic: ChiralJon via Flickr)
Grenfell Tower: report calls for shift away from high rise development in wake of disaster (pic: ChiralJon via Flickr)

The call came in a report by the Housing & Finance Institute (HFI) which was established by the government in March 2015, following a recommendation in the Elphicke-House Housing Report in January 2015.

The body describes itself as an "accelerator hub" and aims to "promote new business and finance models, techniques and methods for housing delivery". 

The report, Repair, Protect, Build: What next for UK Housing After The Tragedy at Grenfell Tower, says there should be "a moratorium on starting to build new tower blocks [which] would provide a space for understanding what has gone wrong and making sure that it can never happen again".

The document also says that government "should champion a change in planning to immediately move away from high rise to low and mid-rise architectural solutions, such as those put forward over many years by global leading architects Farrells as well as Create Streets, Sir Mark Boleat and others."

The report says that, following the Ronan Point disaster in 1968, the government chose "to prioritise new repair and deprioritise new housing schemes".

But it says that in 2017 the government needs to "repair, protect, and also secure new homes for previously identified housing needs of the country, as well as those in need of rehousing from the current events".

"After the tragedy at Grenfell Tower it is all the more important that we sharply accelerate the delivery of a million homes around the country. There is land, planning permission and opportunity to do so. It needs to happen, and quickly", the report says. 


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