A leading housing and planning charity has called upon all major political parties to restore standards in design and place-making, including low-carbon design and space and accessibility standards for new homes, as part of their manifesto pledges.
Launching Building the Future, the Town and Country Planning Association’s (TCPA) manifesto for the 2017 general election, Kate Henderson said:
“We are seeing more and more development approved in piecemeal locations which is leading to homes that are often poorly served by infrastructure such as roads, hospitals or schools. We are producing fewer and fewer affordable and social homes so homelessness and affordability are blighting people’s lives. And we are building some of the smallest new homes in Europe, which in some cases are so small that you cannot even fit the most basic furniture into them. People don’t want to live in unsustainable shoe-box homes without access to decent local services.”
“The general election provides the opportunity for a new government to ensure the planning system creates inclusive and sustainable places that enhance our quality of life, health and wellbeing. In tackling the housing crisis we must match an ambition to increase the supply of new homes with funding for social and affordable housing and a commitment to restore important design and quality standards for new housing.”
The TCPA has set out how a new government can put Britain back at the cutting edge of place-making. The charity has asked all major parties to include seven pledges in their manifestos, which are expected to be published sporadically over the next fortnight.
The TCPA’s seven pledges are:
- Match the ambition to increase the supply of new homes with funding for social and affordable housing and a commitment to specific measures that will deliver high-quality outcomes in, for example, health and wellbeing, socially mixed communities and sustainable development.
- Produce a new Community Planning Act to give planning a strong statutory purpose on sustainable development, reinforce the plan-led system and enshrine the right of communities to participate meaningfully in planning.
- Introduce a new national spatial plan to address regional inequalities – by, for example, co-ordinating increased infrastructure investment in the UK’s northern cities – and encourage a better balance of work and home across the nation.
- Revise the National Planning Policy Framework to restore standards in design and place-making, including low-carbon design and space and accessibility standards for new homes.
- Commit to a new programme of Garden Cities based on a comprehensive update of the New Towns Act, with a legal duty to implement the Garden City principles.
- Ensure that effective land value capture mechanisms are in place to pay for the basic transport, health and educational infrastructure that can make places work for people.
- Set up a Royal Commission to ensure effective government action on building resilience to increasingly severe weather events and on promoting the long-term sustainable development of the nation.