To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what recent steps his Department has taken to ensure that local authorities take (a) cultural heritage and (b) the skyline into account when approving new (i) housing and (ii) commercial developments.
In making planning decisions local planning authorities must take account of national planning policy including, where relevant, that around conserving and enhancing the historic environment and achieving well-designed places. The National Planning Policy Framework emphasises that local planning policies and decisions should ensure development that is sympathetic to local character and history, including the surrounding built environment.
The supporting National Design Guide recognises that well-designed new development relates well to and enhances existing character, responding positively to the features of the site itself and the surrounding context. This includes views inwards and outwards. In addition, the National Model Design Code guides the production of local design codes and encourages local authorities to consider the impact that development will have on the skyline.
Through the Design Code Pathfinder programme, the Office for Place is supporting local councils to produce local design codes which will ensure communities will benefit from beautiful and sustainable places designed for all. The design codes and processes adopted through this programme will serve as examples for others to follow. The Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill is seeking to strengthen the requirement for the use of local design codes, so that clear rules are set locally about the design of new development.