Building Better, Building Beautiful’ Commission launched Image: Adobe Stock

New commission announced to champion beauty in the built environment

The Communities Secretary, Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, has launched a commission to champion beautiful buildings as an integral part of the drive to build the homes communities need.

The ‘Building Better, Building Beautiful’ Commission will investigate measures to help ensure new developments meet the needs and expectations of communities. This is to make them more likely to be welcomed rather than resisted.

The Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP Open Government Licence v3.0

Communities Secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP said:

“This commission will kick start a debate about the importance of design and style, helping develop practical ways of ensuring new developments gain the consent of communities, helping grow a sense of place, not undermine it.

“This will help deliver desperately needed homes – ultimately building better and beautiful will help us build more.”

New rules consider the area’s character

The commission follows changes to the planning rulebook to strengthen expectations for design quality and community engagement when planning for development.

These new rules ensure that more consideration can be given to the character of the local area.

This commission will take this further by expanding on the ways in which the planning system can encourage and incentivise a greater emphasis on design, style and community consent.

The commission has 3 aims:

  1. To promote better design and style of homes, villages, towns and high streets, to reflect what communities want, building on the knowledge and tradition of what they know works for their area
  2. To explore how new settlements can be developed with greater community consent
  3. To make the planning system work in support of better design and style, not against it
Will beautiful new homes be more likely to be welcomed rather than resisted?

A month showcase of beauty in the built environment

This announcement comes as a month long series of events coordinated by think tank Policy Exchange, to showcase the importance of beauty in the built environment, begin.

Welcoming the announcement Policy Exchange Director, Dean Godson, said:

“We know from our research and polling that local support for development increases across all income groups when beauty is made a priority and this commission represents a fantastic first step.

“Placing beauty at the heart of housing policy is the biggest idea in a generation.”

Sir Roger Scruton has been appointed to Chair the commission, with further commissioners to be announced in due course.