‘Beautiful, zero-carbon’ homes must become standard, housing secretary will say

Planning process shake-up will see 'fast-track' for well-designed buildings

Shaun Connolly
Thursday 30 January 2020 11:27 GMT
Report argues for 'high-quality, well-designed dwellings in tree-lined streets'
Report argues for 'high-quality, well-designed dwellings in tree-lined streets' (Tim Crocker )

Beautiful homes should be the norm, not the exception, Robert Jenrick, the housing secretary, will say.

High-quality, well-designed dwellings in tree-lined streets should be at the centre of future plans, the cabinet minister will stress on Thursday as a report by the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission is launched.

The Living In Beauty report contains more than 130 recommendations, including supporting access to a fruit tree for every home, and opening old canals.

The study also calls for a new “fast track for beauty” change to the planning process in order to ensure better buildings.

Mr Jenrick will say: “Today's report is important for many reasons, not least because of the powerful argument it makes that a sense of place still matters and, arguably, in our fast-paced, globalised world, matters perhaps more than ever.

“It recognises that our identities go hand in hand with the places and neighbourhoods in which we live and work.

“That's why beautiful, high-quality homes must become the norm, not the exception.

“I am interested in the proposal of a 'fast track for beauty'.

“Where individuals and developers have put in the time to create proposals for well-designed buildings, which use high-quality materials and take account of their local setting, it can't be right their planning applications are held up.

“I too want to see a return to planting more trees. We set out in our manifesto that we will expect all new streets to be lined with trees and are working to make this commitment a reality.

“I want to see zero-carbon homes being built as standard within five years as we learn again how our built and natural environments can work in harmony.

“And the report is right that local authorities will need to play a leading role in this design revolution. We will need to ensure they have the right skills and leadership to fully carry out their role as place-makers.”

Press Association

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