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The House of Lords National Policy for the Built Environment Committee published its report Building Better Places on 19 February 2016. In the report’s summary, the Committee highlighted its key recommendations, including proposals to:

  • Address the gap between planning permissions granted and new homes built, and other barriers to increasing the number of housing completions.
  • Create better places, promote design quality and enhance the resilience and sustainability of new developments.
  • Appoint a Chief Built Environment Adviser, appointed to integrate policy across central government departments, to act as a champion for higher standards and to promote good practice.
  • Address funding, promote skills and raise capacity, and promote the concept of proactive planning at the local level.
  • Improve streets, highways and the public realm and promote greater joint working between health and planning professionals and better local monitoring of health impacts resulting from the built environment.

The Government responded to the Committee’s report in November 2016, and the House debated both the report and the Government’s response in January 2017.

This House of Lords Library Briefing provides an overview of the conclusions reached and recommendations made by the National Policy for the Built Environment Committee in Building Better Places and the Government’s response. It also summarises the debate on the report held in the House of Lords in January 2017 and the content of letters recently exchanged between Lord McFall of Alcluith, in his capacity as Senior Deputy Speaker and chair of the House of Lords Liaison Committee, and the Government. It concludes with an overview of recent activity relating to the policy areas considered in the report.


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