Select Committee on National Policy for the Built Environment
Building better places

Report of Session 2015-16 - published 19 February 2016 - HL Paper 100



Chapter 1: Introduction

Why does the built environment matter?

The focus of the Committee

Putting the built environment in context

Box 1: The multiple impacts of poor quality places

The work of the Committee

Chapter 2: The built environment: recent trends and emerging challenges

The built environment and the planning system

The balance between national and local

Recent policy changes and initiatives

The National Planning Policy Framework

Box 2: The NPPF, sustainable development and the roles of the planning system

The Localism Act 2011 and the duty to co-operate

The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment

The Farrell Review of Architecture and the Built Environment

Government initiatives since May 2015

The National Infrastructure Commission

Responding to the housing crisis

Figure 1: House building, permanent dwellings completed by
tenure, England, 1946–2014

Figure 2: House price to earnings ratios, England and London,

Reducing regulation and increasing speed

Concluding remarks

Chapter 3: Creating better places: design, quality and standards

The need for national leadership and co-ordination

Joining-up Government and providing leadership

Government strategy on architecture and construction

Places and people

Health and the built environment

Figure 3: The impacts of the built environment on health

Streets, highways and the public realm30

Integrated transport infrastructure

Delivering and safeguarding quality

Design Review

Permitted development rights and Article 4 directions

Permission in principle

Chapter 4: Building for the long-term: sustainability and resilience

Investing in long-term, sustainable communities

Lifetime homes and lifetime neighbourhoods

The resilience of town centres and high streets

Investing in heritage

Environmental resilience

Protecting against flood risk

Sustainable design and construction

Green infrastructure

Chapter 5: Delivering more housing

The national housing policy debate

Table 1: Historic overall housing completion rates in England

Table 2: Historic local authority housing completion rates in

The local authority role

Site delivery and land assembly

The importance of smaller sites and SME development finance

Larger sites, and compulsory purchase powers

Brownfield, greenfield and Green Belt

Development management procedures

Local planning departments

The role of Development Corporations

Unbuilt sites with planning permission

Viability and affordability

Affordable housing and issues with viability

Box 3: What is viability?

Starter homes

Skills shortages

Chapter 6: Local leadership, delivery and skills

The local role in the built environment

Skills, local vision and ‘proactive planning’

Resourcing and capacity

The local plan making process

Spatial frameworks and ‘larger than local’ planning

Community engagement and neighbourhood planning

Summary of Conclusions and Recommendations

Appendix 1: List of Members and Declarations of Interest

Appendix 2: List of Witnesses

Appendix 3: Call for evidence

Appendix 4: Glossary

Appendix 5: Note of Committee visit to Southwark Council and Elephant & Castle: Wednesday 16 September

Appendix 6: Note of Committee visit to Birmingham:
Wednesday 14 October

Evidence is published online at and available for inspection at the Parliamentary Archives (020 7129 3074).

Q in footnotes refers to a question in oral evidence.

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