One of the country's leading planning schools is to carry out an audit of design quality in housing developments across England, it has been announced.
More precise Europe-wide rules on assessing daylight and sunlight levels in new developments have just come into force, but observers warn it may increase scope for challenges and create tensions with national policy.
Planning policies promoting design quality, incentives to build retirement housing, and the creation of 15 new towns on the outskirts of London are among a series of recommendations made by think tank Policy Exchange in a report that has been backed by two leading Tory leadership candidates.
The housing secretary has overruled the recommendation of a planning inspector and refused plans for the 471-home mixed-use redevelopment of a Sainsbury's supermarket site, after attaching "substantial weight" to the harm caused by the loss of daylight arising from the proposal.
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has called on the government to break up large housing sites for delivery by smaller housebuilders and to invest in local authority planning teams as key ways of driving up design standards.
Local authorities could more easily meet their housing targets by introducing a "front-loaded" regime for modern methods of construction (MMC), including the use of local development orders (LDOs), according to a new report.
Last month I went to the inaugural Colin Amery Memorial Lecture. It was delivered by Sir Roger Scruton, the new chair - for now - of the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission (BBBBC).
It may not be new but it's encouraging to see developer British Land, in its recent publication A Design for Life, throwing its weight behind the case for placemaking and design quality to improve health and wellbeing. Its assessment of the financial benefits to the state makes a compelling case.
The government has been doing some tinkering with the planning practice guidance (PPG) for custom build housing over the summer.
The many luxury flats being developed in prominent locations in Hackney, east London, give a strong sense that demographic change is accelerating.
Last week saw the launch of the Bartlett Real Estate Institute (BREI), which will be moving into business innovation hub Here East in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London in October.
It's hard, given the events in West London, to write about anything else, but it is also hard, in the absence of any concrete information on the causes, to comment on this tragedy. It may turn out that someone did something wrong negligently (or in other ways), but it also seems possible that this is the unimaginably tragic result of system failure.
- Enforcement Officer Medway Council Chatham, Kent
- Planner Medway Council Chatham, Kent
- Strategic Projects Manager (Planning Delivery) upto £54,656 Lewis Davey Shefford, Bedfordshire
- Specialist Planning Officer Development Management Wokingham Borough Council Shute End Offices, Wokingham Borough Council
- Senior Planner - South West - Mixed Caseload Oyster Partnership South West England
The modular homes industry is likely to accelerate and planning policy is starting to acknowledge its role, writes Isobel McGeever.
This year's winners span 26 categories across planning and placemaking, Mark Wilding reports.
The new interim chair of the government's commission aiming to improve the design of new developments is a supporter of traditional architecture and greater public participation in planning and design, say observers.
The need to find a new chair for the government-appointed Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission following Sir Roger Scruton's sacking has raised questions about its ability to meet its target of reporting this year. But insiders say a lot of work has already been done, and that discussion has moved beyond architectural styles to other place-shaping factors.