Vaizey: Government interest in good design remains ‘far off utopia’

Terry Farrell and Ed Vaizey

Former architecture minister reflects on five years since the Farrell Review in an interview with BD

The mission to embed good design in the government’s housebuilding agenda has gone into reverse over the last decade, according to former architecture minister Ed Vaizey.

This is despite the Farrell Review which he commissioned in 2013, recent reports by Oliver Letwin and Nick Raynsford – and the current administration’s divisive Building Beautiful commission chaired by Roger Scruton.

Vaizey blamed the dismantling of Cabe – a “huge error” – and the rush to build which had left housing in the hands of an “oligopoly of developers” with no incentive to prioritise quality.

He was speaking exclusively to BD on the fifth anniversary of Terry Farrell’s report, commissioned while he was culture minister under the Cameron-Clegg coalition in a bid to push good design up ministers’ agenda.

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