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Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission

Volume 689: debated on Monday 22 February 2021

What response his Department has made to the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission’s final report. (912373)

People want to live in strong communities where they can see their unique character, heritage and culture reflected and respected in the buildings they pass in their daily lives, so the Government have established the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission to do just that, by championing beauty in the built environment. We have recently published a comprehensive response to the report, and will be implementing the vast majority of its recommendations. That includes embedding the principle of beauty in the planning system for the first time since it was created in the post-war years; publishing a new national model design code so that communities can demand well-designed local buildings; and establishing a fast track for beauty, where individuals and good-quality builders can see high-quality developments proceed at pace.

I am delighted by my right hon. Friend’s response. This is a vital report and it will make a huge difference to future developments in communities such as mine when these proposals are taken forward. We have a number of exciting developments across Furness, from Hartley’s Brewery in Ulverston to Salthouse sands in Barrow, which are actively seeking to celebrate local history. How best can those developers engage with my right hon. Friend’s Department to ensure that they meet the proposed standards?

My hon. Friend represents one of the most beautiful constituencies in the country, one with a very rich heritage, and I understand why he would want to see that preserved and enhanced, as do we. The developer community should now be engaging with our national model design code and his own local councils should now bring forward their own version of that. My Department stands ready, with our new place unit, to support local councils to produce high-quality, compelling and locally popular design codes. We will be piloting that over the course of the year—perhaps his local council might like to be one of the pilot areas.