The Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) has welcomed the announcement of the revised National Planning Policy Framework as a “step in the right direction to solving the UK’s housing crisis”.
The publication follows a public consultation, launched by the Prime Minister earlier this year, to provide a comprehensive approach for planners, developers and councils to build more homes, more quickly and in the places where people want to live. The revised rule book will focus on issues such as promoting high quality design of new homes and places, providing stronger protection for the environment, building the right number of homes in the right places, and greater responsibility and accountability for housing delivery from councils and developers.
These issues are all key recommendations that were made in ACE’s latest policy report, Unlocking Housing: Invigorating local communities through placemaking, which argues for the introduction of placemaking principles, of meaningful community engagement and the building of supporting infrastructure including transport, homes, and education. The end-goal are communities which welcome new homes which are sympathetically designed.
Welcoming the revised framework, Dr Nelson Ogunshakin OBE, chief executive of ACE, said: "I am delighted to see that the government has adopted the principles laid out in ACE’s report, Unlocking Housing. When they work, cities and towns are powerful places. They support our lives, answer our needs, solve our problems and create opportunities. They bring people together, and they create circumstances that generate wealth and wellbeing. Designed well, their energy and sense of life motivates, entertains, and inspires.
"Yet our cities and towns are not just buildings, they are more than just a collection of housing, transport and office spaces. They are living, breathing communities of people. Identity, pride, ownership, good citizenship and neighbourliness all make the places we inhabit and the cities that we live in. Good design of our urban spaces and the infrastructure that supports them can allow our communities to prosper while poor design can lead to them decaying and withering away.
"The promotion of greater community engagement in development schemes, the use of better design principles, a more integrated approach to community infrastructure needs and greater local authority accountability are all key issues that we need if we are to solve our housing crisis. The new NPPF is a step in the right direction to solving the UK’s housing crisis".