Commenting on the announcement today by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) chief executive Hannah Vickers says:
“The relaxation of planning rules announced today are a common sense approach to laying the foundations for a post-pandemic future. It will support the revitalisation of the high street and bring life back to town and city centres across the UK. This brownfield first approach will mean more housing, cafes and restaurants, replacing lost retail units.
“Furthermore, by allowing larger extensions to existing public buildings including schools, colleges, universities and hospitals, the Government has unlocked a potential barrier to swifter delivery. Our Project Speed briefings earlier in the year highlighted the need for more to be done to make political ambitions in this space a reality, and we’re delighted that this measure will open up the potential for transformative investments in health and education buildings and infrastructure.
“However, we should not lose sight of the ‘better’ aspect of ‘build back better’ and ensure that speed is not driven at the expense of quality nor delivering a sense of place and community.”