Robbie Kerr has commented on the announcement issued this week by Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling up, Housing and Communities. It focuses on planning changes to speed up the delivery of vital infrastructure such as increased housing provision and planning regulation.
Robbie Kerr, Director, ADAM Architecture, said:
We welcome the Levelling Up Secretary's re-affirmed commitment this week to new investment and new housing, the regeneration of brownfield sites, and a relaxation of planning regulations to make conversion to residential from other class uses easier.
The move to create more homes in our towns and cities should be supported and returning redundant commercial units to residential use particularly in quieter areas should be embraced. If this can be facilitated through relaxed planning then that is for the good.
Our town centres should allow people to live, shop, work, learn and enjoy leisure activities with walk-ability and bike-ability prioritised - and there is a careful balance to be struck over retaining a vibrant street level with some commercial use with residential above.
We also need to move the debate on to being about creating places where people can lead a healthy, happy low carbon lifestyle with high quality amenities of all kinds close by, and implementing measures that can breathe new life into our town and city centres should be a major factor in this – with the caveat that, in the rush to create more homes, quality is not compromised at the expense of quantity.