New NPPF 'lacks clout' on design, Brokenshire warned

James Brokenshire in parliament on 30 April, 2018

Urban design chiefs insist policy must contain forceful expectation of high-quality development

A consortium of urban design and conservation interest groups has warned new housing secretary James Brokenshire that the government’s proposed changes to the National Planning Policy Framework are too weak on the promotion of good design.

The grouping, which includes the Academy of Urbanism, the Farrell Review spin-off Place Alliance, Design Network and the Institute of Historic Building Conservation, said that if the Ministry of Housing (MHCLG) wanted to live up to the spirit of its recent conference on good design, the draft NPPF should be redrawn.

It also flagged the lack of in-house urban design capacity at councils, citing research it commissioned last year that indicated half of English planning authorities had no such dedicated skills.

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