RIBA points to Sweden and Netherlands for ‘Building Better’ lessons

Ben Derbyshire

Ben Derbyshire demands more resources for council planning departments and an office-to-resi clampdown

RIBA has warned the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government against seeking “style-over-substance” solutions from its Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission – and said it should instead look to well-planned communities in Sweden and the Netherlands.

In its eight-page submission to the commission – which was headed up by controversial philosopher Roger Scruton until his sacking in April – the institute says the government also needs to invest more in local authority planning-and-design capacity and scrap permitted-development rights for office-to-residential conversion.

Set up by housing secretary James Brokenshire with a mandate to drive public support for new housing development through improved design, the Building Beautiful, Building Better Commission is seeking views from the profession on how this can be achieved.

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