Proactive planning needs to be at the heart of policy-making, according to the Farrell Review, an industry-wide review of architecture and the built environment, led by Sir Terry Farrell and commissioned by Culture Minister Ed Vaizey.
After a wide-reaching consultation process including workshops throughout the country, the findings have been compiled into a report with 60 recommendations. Among the key recommendations was a need for there to be a revolution in the planning system to make it proactive rather than reactive, anticipating, rather than responding to, the future needs of our towns and cities. By planning proactively as other countries do, we would anticipate issues like the national housing shortage or susceptibility to flooding and address them before they reach crisis levels.
The Review also called for architecture and the built environment to be taught as early as possible in school education and through many different subjects. It also said that each local authority should nominate “Civic Champions” – a built environment professional from the private sector and an elected member to champion local design quality and engage with neighbourhood forums. Built environment practices should enter into partnerships with local authorities to “champion the civic” through education and outreach.
Design Review Panels should become PLACE Review Panels using the acronym PLACE to describe the key disciplines of Planning, Landscape, Architecture, Conservation and Engineering to ensure they are represented. Public-sector developments that are not subject to normal planning, such as national infrastructure projects, should be subject to PLACE