Kent Design Roundtable: responding to housing white paper

On Tuesday 13th June 2017, a group of Kent Design members including heads of planning from local authorities, housebuilders, architects and consultants met at the Maidstone Museum for a roundtable discussion to ask how far proposals in the government’s white paper will go to fixing the housing market in Kent and Medway.

The roundtable was a platform for members to outline their responses to the government’s consultation but also to explore the proposition in the White Paper that the public’s relationship with house building is, at least in part, responsible for slow delivery.

Jane Briginshaw and Andy von Bradsky took the lead in this discussion, chaired by DSE’s Director, Chris Lamb.

We started by asking if it is true that we are failing to plan for new housing because of a fear of public opposition, and if the public are really so dissatisfied with new housing. To what extent are Neighbourhood Plans part of the solution? Do public perceptions need to change and should local people be involved in the design of new neighbourhoods and settlements.

A report for this roundtable will be available to download soon.

Whose job is it anyway: a question of leadership?

Quality of place matters; it provides the structure through which communities grow and it strengthens local economies. The transformation of places as different as Sheffield and Cambridge show that leaders manage to deliver quality despite limited resources. So is delivering quality a question of leadership rather than resources, and if so what are the current pressures on leaders and how might they be overcome?

We will join leaders from local government and built environment experts at a roundtable in the House of Lords, chaired by Lord Bob Kerslake. Lord Kerslake will lead a discussion exploring the pressures leaders face and the choices today’s leaders need to make, faced with new housing challenges, devolution opportunities and limited access to borrowing, to create good quality, community places.