30-01-20 - The Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission has today (Thursday) published its final report, Living with beauty: promoting health, well-being and sustainable growth. The report proposes a new development and planning framework which they argue will: ask for beauty; refuse ugliness; promote stewardship. It also highlights the need to raise the profile of planning and its central role in the delivery of better public health, happier people and more sociable communities.

Responding to the report, Fiona Howie, the TCPA’s chief executive, said:

“The TCPA welcomes the Commission’s call for a people centred planning system that puts high quality design at the heart of the system to support the creation of green and more sustainable places. As the report states, beauty in terms of high quality, well designed and placed buildings and communities, should be an essential condition for the grant of planning permission; they should be the norm. Rather than beauty being seen as an additional cost.

“We also share the Commission’s concern about the impact of deregulation and the creation of substandard homes through permitted development. This supports the analysis of the Raynsford Review, which argued for a new statutory duty to place the health, safety and wellbeing at the heart of the planning system.

“The Government’s forthcoming White Paper on planning reform must reflect the powerful cross sector consensus for a new planning system that meets people’s basic needs in inclusive and beautiful communities. Proposed reforms must not focus solely on speeding up the system – improving the quality of new development is essential. The White Paper is, therefore, an opportunity for the Government to set out reforms that will enable the planning system to tackle growing social inequality and the impacts of climate change which will profoundly reshape our cities within the next decade.”


Notes to editors

  1. The Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission's final report, 'Living with beauty: promoting health, well-being and sustainable growth', can be found here.
  2. The Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission is an independent body that was set up to advise the government on how to promote and increase the use of high-quality design for new build homes and neighbourhoods. Further information, including the terms of reference, is available here. Mary Parsons, who is Group Director at Places for People and Chair and a trustee of the Town and Country Planning Association, was one of the five commissioners. The Commission was also supported by ten advisers.
  3. The Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) is an independent campaigning charity calling for more integrated planning based on the principles of accessibility, sustainability, diversity and community cohesion. For more information on the TCPA, click here.
  4. For further information, please contact Julia Thrift at the TCPA on 020 3965 5415 or [email protected]