Design & Decision Making; daring to say no: turning down poor applications for development on design grounds

PAS supported the Office for Place to deliver a short lunchtime event looking at how local authorities can confidently drive design standards through the planning application process and have the confidence to turn down poor applications on design grounds without fear of losing appeals.

Wed, 25 May 2022

Matthew Carmona from the Place Alliance presented the findings from his recently published report Appealing Design. This analyses recent experience from public inquiries and looks at how how authorities can be more confident about receiving decisions in their favour in which design quality was cited. A recording of Matthew presenting these findings can be found at the link to the report, this is from a previous session and the relevant piece starts about 3minutes 20 seconds into the recording.

Matthew was joined by David Waterhouse, Head of Design and Planning Reform at DLUHC, who spoke about Design and the Levelling Up & Regeneration Bill. Alongside the Bill itself, DLUHC have published some really useful commentary on the Design elements off the Bill in a Policy Paper, see the section Creating beautiful places and improving environmental outcomes

Nicholas Boys Smith, Chair of the Office for Place Advisory Board, gave an evidenced based presention on Good Design Codes, defining the features that can help to create a quality place and the roles that good design can play in place-making as well as many examples of success. Nicholas drew together evidence for this presentation from a number of his publications including:

A two page summary of his key points is also available alongside a 10 min video: What makes for happy places? - on YouTube.