An ad hoc Select Committee
on national policy for the built environment |
29. Baroness Andrews and Baroness Whitaker proposed
a select committee on policy for the built environment in England.
Policy towards the built environment is defined at both the national
and local level. At the national level, the framework that governs
the use and development of land is set out in legislation. Many
of the broad principles of this framework were first developed
in the Town and Country Planning Act 1947, and have not been revisited
as a whole since then, although they have been supplemented and
revised by successive governments. Broad policy direction on the
built environment, across diverse areas including housing, green
belts, design, the natural environment and heritage, is also set
out nationally in guidance.
30. Policy in this area cuts across many departmental
boundaries, including the Departments for Communities and Local
Government; Culture, Media and Sport; Transport; Energy and Climate
Change; and Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. There has not
been a holistic inquiry covering the wider field of built environment.
31. An ad hoc committee could consider
the following aspects of policy in this area:
· The ways in which national built environment
policy is developed and implemented, including inter-relationships
between the different Government departments concerned;
· The effects of national policy in this
area; the ways in which national policy affects local authorities,
planners, developers, employers, infrastructure providers and
· The impact of the built environment on
economic growth, wellbeing, social cohesion and sustainability;
· Elements that help to determine the national
significance and importance of the built environment including,
for example, the education and training of planners.
32. We recommend the appointment of an ad
hoc committee to consider the development and implementation
of national policy for the built environment.