To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what priority the Government has given to beauty in the built environment.
The Government recognises the importance to communities of design quality in the built environment for new development. A design team and an architectural adviser to Government have been established, in order to promote design quality and beauty across policy and programmes.
Design quality is an integral part of the recently revised National Planning Policy Framework, which states that development should be “visually attractive as a result of good architecture, layout and appropriate and effective landscaping”. The importance of beauty is also highlighted in Government programmes, including the Garden Cities, Towns and Villages programme.
The Government is taking a proactive approach to sharing evidence of beauty in the built environment, and my department hosted the Government’s first design quality conference in April this year. New planning guidance will emphasise the importance of community engagement in plan making and design of projects, and the need to focus on qualities such as the appearance of new development, that appeal to residents and neighbours.