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New 50 Shades of Planning Podcast – Episode 30: Beauty is in the eye of the freeholder

Kevin Whitmore BECG

Written by

Kevin Whitmore


“We want to ensure that we have a system in place that enables the creation of beautiful places that will stand the test of time” states the ‘Planning for the future’ White Paper. Not just well-designed places. Beautiful places.

The Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission, set up to advise government on how to promote and increase the use of high-quality design for new build homes and neighbourhoods, proposed that beautiful placemaking be a legally enshrined aim of the planning system.

There is a school of thought promulgating the idea that beauty will help make the public more accepting of new development. As then Secretary of State James Brokenshire wrote in a forward to Policy Exchange’s ‘Building Beautiful Places’ report: “to unlock the building of homes at the scale and rate where they are required, we need to overcome public opposition to new development. The promise of beautiful homes and places that add value and character to the area they are built, rather than take away from it, is an essential part of that.”

The public though, when asked about possible advantages that might increase support for more homes being built in their local area, rank higher quality design behind medical facilities, transport links, employment opportunities, affordable housing, green spaces, schools, leisure facilities and shops.

Is beauty in the built environment different to good design? Are beautiful, well-designed places and buildings being created because of, or in spite of, the planning system? Can the planning system better enable the creation of beautiful, well-designed places and, if so, how? And would that really overcome perceived public objections to the principle of development?

Sam Stafford discusses these questions with:

BECG proudly supports the 50 Shades of Planning Podcast from Samuel Stafford, Regional Strategic Land Director at Barratt Developments.

If you’d like to take part in the podcast or want help managing or launching your own podcast then please get in touch on 0161 359 4100 or email Kevin Whitmore.


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