Policy Exchange welcomes new Building Beautiful Commission – inspired by our work

Nov 3, 2018

Policy Exchange warmly welcomes the Government’s announcement of a new ‘Building Better, Building Beautiful’ Commission to be chaired by Sir Roger Scruton – who co-authored our report Building More, Building Beautiful, first championing the argument that building homes in designs and styles that people support is crucial to solving the housing crisis, and putting the issue on the national agenda.

Sir Roger said:

“The return of beauty and style to the centre of the debate could be the biggest idea in housing since council house sales. I am delighted to be leading the new ‘Building Better, Building Beautiful’ Commission to promote better design and style of homes.”

Deltapoll polling for Policy Exchange supports the establishment of this new Commission, finding that:

  • 85 percent of respondents across all socioeconomic groups said new homes should either fit in with their more traditional surroundings or be identical to homes already there. Across all socioeconomic groups, a large majority of people agree that newly built homes and properties should fit in with their surroundings – with support among DEs reaching 79%.
  • Lower socio-economic groups are most likely to agree that architects should build comfortable and beautiful homes, and to disagree more strongly that new buildings should be adventurous, different or seek to shock. 31% of ABs think building should be adventurous, compared to 17% of DEs.
  • 84 percent of respondents agree (with 42 per cent strongly agreeing) that better quality buildings and public spaces improve people’s quality of life – the same proportion as those who think living in a well-designed community improves people’s happiness.
  • 68 percent of respondents think a well-designed neighbourhood will reduce crime, while 75 per cent think traditional design and style improves quality of life and 65 percent of respondents think traditionally designed housing helps foster positive community relations

Policy Exchange Senior Adviser on Housing and Local Government Sir Robin Wales, who co-authored Building More, Building Beautiful with the Commission’s newly announced Chairman Sir Roger Scruton, said:

“We’re delighted that the Government has listened to Policy Exchange’s polling and recognised the importance of building homes and communities as well as houses. Too often planners, developers and architects have ignored what people want to live in and alongside, and look at every day. It is no wonder that desperately needed new homes are so often opposed when they are designed with so little respect and sympathy for what’s already there.”

This November is Building Beautiful Month at Policy Exchange – the next stage of our efforts to address the housing crisis, the major domestic policy issue of the day. The focus of the Building Beautiful Month is – in practical and economic terms – how new homes can be built in the ways the public like and want, and whether that can reduce opposition to new housing development. Upcoming events include:

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