Town halls should encourage the redevelopment of retail parks and large supermarkets into communities that include homes, shops and businesses, a wide-ranging report for the government has found.
The new “mixed use” communities should be supported by new public transport to reduce reliance on cars – and are part of plans to revisit these ‘boxland’ developments.
The proposals are contained in the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission’s interim report, ‘Creating space for beauty’, which has been published.
The report examines the fundamental reasons for ugly developments and public mistrust, and also calls for communities to be given an earlier say in the development process, encouraging greater use of master-planning – rather than communities engaging in town “planning by appeal”.
Interim Chairman of the Commission, Nicholas Boys Smith said:
Redeveloping abandoned out of town retail parks and ugly old supermarkets would deliver something much more beautiful in the form of thriving new communities where people can raise a family, work or settle down.
Our initial report sets many ways we can make our country more beautiful while fulfilling the needs of future generations who will need a roof over their head.
We need to move the democracy up-stream from development control to plan-making.
Beauty should not be just a property of the old buildings or protected landscapes but something we expect from new buildings, places and settlements. We need to deliver beauty for everyone, not just the wealthy. This will require, ultimately, some fundamental changes. Hopefully our report will start part of that important debate with the public and the professions.