“It’s about Placemaking”

The media have picked up on Tony Pidgley’s speech at the MIPIM UK Conference, Tony Pidgley Chairman of Berkeley Homes has talked about the need for a culture change in Planning.

The change that Mr Pidgley says is needed is for local and central government, private developers and the public all needing to change their attitudes to housing.

Changing the culture of planning and meaningful engagement of residential developers by local authorities is something he has also talked about.

I see where Tony Pidgley is coming from but I can’t help feeling he is searching for some sort of utopia that is beyond us.  The constraints of the green belt and the traditions of architecture, taste and practicality in the UK mean that any shifts in culture and attitudes will be slow, gradual and evolutionary, not revolutionary.

Our planning team sees progression with the planning system but it will always involve elements of disagreement between officers, politicians, the public and developers.  We’ve got to work at it and live with it.

The one thing that I settled on and thought – ‘that’s achievable’ out of much that Tony Pidgley said was that “house builders and developers have to produce better places and better homes” saying “it’s about placemaking”.  I couldn’t agree more, we all need to concentrate on building schemes people will enjoy more and be fit for an age that has changed so much in what it demands of the space it lives and works in.