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Mayor welcomes Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission report

30 January 2020

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Mayor James Palmer has welcomed 'Living with Beauty', the report of the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission chaired by the late Sir Roger Scruton and Nicholas Boys Smith. 

 

The Mayor said:

"I welcome the Building Better, Building Beautiful report. My ambition is to make Cambridgeshire and Peterborough the leading place in the world to live, work and learn.  Creating and enhancing beautiful places is key to that ambition, alongside a strong economy and great transport system. The Combined Authority is already taking a lead on this, adopting the Quality Charter in 2019 with clear principles on how to raise the quality of new homes and communities. Last year I also launched the vision for nature that will double the amount of wildlife areas and greenspaces across the area, putting nature right at the heart of communities.

Building better also means having a planning system that encourages quality developments to come forward - so I welcome the report’s support for smaller developers, community and self-builders who for too long have been shut out of the planning system, yet can deliver some of the best quality homes and drive innovation. In the Mayoral Combined Authority we are committed to fulfilling the ambition of the CPIER report of adopting ‘a placemaking approach’, developing or regenerating an area in a manner that ‘leads to a sense of ‘place’’.

We know that the housing crisis in our region requires a significant quantity of properties to be built; this does not mean that these need to be of lower quality or less well-situated in their surroundings. The Community Land Trusts that we have supported through our affordable housing initiatives are imaginative, beautiful, and interspersed with green spaces; the award-winning Manor Farm CLT in Stretham has a woodland walk, a large village green, links to public footpaths and leisure facilities, as well as allotments. We believe, as the CPIER report states, that ‘good design is not incidental to solving the housing dilemma’: through innovation in the affordable housing market, we are ensuring that the homes we support and fund are a genuine reason for people to remain in and move to the region, fuelling growth and innovation for the future. 

I shall be discussing with government how it can further support communities in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. As I deliver on these ambitions I will ensure everyone, whether in a new or existing communities, lives in a place they can be proud of.”   

You can read the full report here.