Housebuilders failing green responsibilities

Tony Gosling tony at
Thu Jul 6 16:32:19 BST 2006

Housebuilders failing green responsibilities

04 July 2006

A survey of planners has revealed that nearly half of all major
housebuilders were rated as poor or very poor when it comes to
understanding their environmental responsibilities, with a further 41%
rated as moderate.

The survey carried out by the Royal Town Planning Institute in conjunction
with Planning Magazine also revealed that 82% of planners who responded
said conflict existed when they made suggestions to improve the scheme.

Just 11% of planners think developers are excellent or good.

The RTPI said it was clear from the comments received that without tough
new measures developers, especially volume housebuilders, will not meet
their responsibilities if it impacts on profits.

Poor design by housebuilders was also highlighted in the survey. One
respondent said: "Nearly all of the big housing developers are guilty of
just seeking to cram as many of their standard range of house types on all
their sites regardless of their context or local environment."

"The designs of the houses put forward are usually bland and unimaginative
and pastiche designs of old architectural styles with little attempt to
explore new architectural design/ideas."

In almost 9 out of 10 cases planning applications were missing information
that would allow planners to make a quick decision on the application. In
requests for further information only 18% were rated as good or excellent
with no resistance to the advice given to bring the application up to

"What is clear from this survey is that planners and house builders need to
improve their relationship," said RTPI president Clive Harridge. "Planners
have a role to play in helping house builders to meet their design and
environmental responsibilities."

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