POS has responded to the Call for Evidence to inform the independent Farrell Review of Architecture and the Built Environment, which relates to England. As announced at its launch on 25 March, the purpose of the review is to inform the Department for Culture, Media and Sport's approach to its role within government of promoting high standards of design in the built environment. This is so that DCMS can continue to influence and shape policy across government, not least because the public sector is a major client/funder of buildings.
Genneral comments: The UK's built environment professional are highly regarded internationally, with practices operating in all parts of the globe. However many of the development proposals that come before local authority planners has had little, if any, input from those leading practitioners. Planners are all too frequently 'criticised' for permitting poorly designed developments but often it is difficult for planning authorities to refuse developments which satisfy technical requirements but lack any design flair. This is particularly so in the case of housing schemes where the design of houses is more likely to be dictated by a house builder's marketing team and accountants, and will involve standard units rolled out across the country. Many house builders are unwilling to risk departing from what they see as trusted models, they have a perception that they know what the customer wants but this is in a context of the customer not being given any choice. This approach by many national house builders has led to bland 'anywhere' schemes being delivered across all corners of the country.