MPs call for placemaking to be at the heart of the NPPF

A cross-party group of MPs and peers has called for placemaking to be at the heart of a revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) in order to help close the productivity gap.

In its first report, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Building Communities has stressed the importance of access to public open spaces, better infrastructure, and greater engagement and understanding of existing local communities.

The report praises a number of examples of recent major developments in London – Kings Cross, Stratford and Greenwich – for successfully creating a sense of space and increasing the productivity of these areas.

‘We need to build a flexible and resilient post-COVID society,’ said group chairman Bob Blackman.

‘This means that we will need to push developers and planners to make better use of space – we will always need space for residents and their visitors to park their cars – but we need bike racks, children’s playgrounds, nature trails, outdoor gyms, community allotments, and more to provide the facilities required.”

‘We have a number of great examples in this report of good design and stewardship which promotes better mental and physical health and produces positive and productive places. This is also fundamentally important to delivering community, which will be the best way to ensure our villages, towns and cities are resilient to the effects of the exceptional times we are living through, and productive in the years and decades to come,’ added Mr Blackman.

The Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE), which represents the companies, large and small, who design, deliver and manage our national infrastructure, provides the secretariat to the APPG.

Chief executive Hannah Vickers said: ‘This work proves that happier and healthier places are more productive, and we look forward to supporting the APPG’s work over the coming months as we explore how to deliver similar places and communities for a post-COVID society.’

The full report – Productive Placemaking – is available to read here.

Photo Credit – Pepperminting (Pixabay)

Jamie Hailstone

Journalist  

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