Architects can ignore Scruton - because developers certainly will

Martyn Evans index

Lipton is right about Cabe’s impact. But the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission won’t make a jot of difference

This week Stuart Lipton and Terry Farrell waded into the skirmish over the appointment of Roger Scruton to head up the government’s Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission. The row over his appointment will rumble on, but really it’s all just noise emanating from weak policy-making by a government meddling at the margins of the problem of good development instead of using its power properly to convene, cajole, inspire, regulate and invest.

Modest amounts of money and weak planning policy measures are announced in response to the debate about our housing problems. Ministers justify the level at which they’re able to tinker by lamenting the state of public finances and reminding us that it’s not their job to build housing but to encourage and enable the private sector. I’ve written before on these pages about how flawed that argument is. There is no need to re-hash it here. But still that doesn’t answer the vital questions: How are we going to build more houses? How are we going to make them more affordable? How are we going to encourage housebuilders to understand the huge responsibility they have in making the places where people live?

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