Autumn Statement response
23 November 2016
As part of ResPublica’s response to the 2016 Autumn Statement, Duncan Sim, Backing Beauty Commission policy lead, said the following:
“The acknowledgement that concerns about local infrastructure capacity represent a major source of objections to the delivery of new housing is welcome. Yet it is vital that this infrastructure is understood not only in terms of new roads, schools, and other physical amenities, but also in terms of the broader public realm, such as local parks and green space; the future of such spaces has been the subject of considerable public concern, demonstrated over the past months through outlets such as the Communities and Local Government Committee’s recent inquiry.
“The Government’s decision to grant £7.6 million to the restoration of Wentworth House shows that it recognises the importance of heritage and beauty, yet it is neither possible nor appropriate to have Government intervene from the top down in this way across the country. That is why we have, through our Backing Beauty Commission, called for additional powers to be devolved to local authorities and communities to discern, protect and create beauty in their areas. We would have liked to have seen the Government act to encourage neighbourhood planning in deprived areas, where ResPublica’s research suggests communities are currently three times less likely to be forming such plans relative to more affluent areas.”