Amendment 243

Part of Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill - Committee (10th Day) – in the House of Lords at 4:00 pm on 20 April 2023.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Thurlow Lord Thurlow Crossbench 4:00, 20 April 2023

My Lords, first, I simply put right a matter of record. I failed to declare my interests in our debate before lunch. I have two buy-to-let properties, as marked on the register.

I now briefly reference Amendment 247B from the noble Lord, Lord Cormack, ably introduced by the noble Lord, Lord Carrington of Fulham. I refer to our heritage assets in the context of properties, as well as statues and artwork. In the UK, a disproportionately small minority can cause heritage assets to be removed from public view, whether they are in public or private ownership or locations.

Furthermore, the world we live in of modern development seldom includes a requirement on developers to contribute to what I think is referred to as the public realm. Most larger developments, as we have heard from the noble Lord, Lord Carrington, are built to minimum cost. We must not forget that good architecture and good design—itself expensive—is a great contribution to the public realm. The presence of statues and monuments, and good building design is a really important contribution to society. Planning applications should have a public realm box, simply to ask whether they are making any contribution to the public realm and heritage assets. The amendment of the noble Lord, Lord Cormack, should also refer to heritage assets which are stored out of sight and yet are in public ownership.