In his autumn statement today the UK Chancellor is expected to confirm that he is stripping ministries' control over land banks and handing it to the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), amid frustration at the slow pace of land sales and with view to stepping up house building and also raising money for the Exchequer. Roger Tustain, Director at global architecture, urbanism and design practice Broadway Malyan warns: "The Government risks inappropriate and unsustainable development if new land released by the HCA is automatically built on for residential development.
“However, new and appropriate sites will provide a fresh opportunity for the Government to champion good design and it must proactively work with urban designers and architects to set high design and place-making standards.
“This could be the catalyst for a 'design mind change' on the part of some of the volume house builders and make good design a key factor in the successful bidding for sites.
“The release of land should be used to champion good design and avoid the watering down of standards through short-term price and margin-led decisions."