‘Building Better, Building Beautiful’ – reactions from Knight Frank

Today the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission released its ‘Living with Beauty’ report which proposes a new development and planning framework that will “ask for beauty”, “refuse ugliness” and “promote stewardship.” Below are comments from Knight Frank on its content.

Charles Dugdale, Partner – Development Consultancy, Knight Frank whose work focuses on legacy development, welcomes the recommendations of The Building Better Building Beautiful Commission. He says: “They have identified a series of measures that will fundamentally shift the housing market away from the desire to build more, faster, above all else, and towards a virtuous development cycle that aligns all parties, including – most importantly – the community. They have quite rightly ranked quality, beauty and place above speed. The recurring theme in their recommendations is creating a fair and level playing field that neutralises disincentives that have evolved out of a system designed to deliver volume. Their proposed measures will refocus the profit motive towards longer-term objectives that will have considerable social benefits.”

Roland Brass, Partner – Planning, Knight Frank, says: “Design will always be subjective, and so will beauty. In seeking to raise the bar, and improve quality of life, the recommendations aim to reduce the level of subjectivity, and work towards making design more objective. We welcome the Commission and its objectives. It will be important that the report works closely and effectively with the National Design Guide and other planning initiatives to help deliver new homes, to achieve the best results for the people and communities it is intended to help. While more prescriptive design policy will be useful, a degree of flexibility must still remain – especially in light of the myriad of factors that influence the whole development process. In deciding future site allocations in Local Plans, the recognition of sustainable patterns of development and use of geospatial data at the higher tier is a positive step forward, and we continue to support developer and landowner involvement from the outset. All stakeholders should be custodians of high-quality development, to encourage a long-term vested interest is taken in the design of a scheme for the betterment of the community.”