The value of controlled public realm

Our planning and 'Building beautiful, building better' panel discussion at our September forum included urban master-planning design partner at David Lock Associates Simon Pugh, who specialises in master-planning for strategic growth studies including Milton Keynes.

Also on the panel was Sharon Strutt - the Head of Regeneration at the London Borough of Redbridge, in charge of Redbridge Living, the council's wholly owned development company, and also the economic development team, Ben Grubb, Director of New Settlement Policy at the Ministry of Housing Communities & Local Government, a department which is working with councils to deliver more beautiful places, and Dominic Eaton, Director and residential expert at Stride Treglown Architects.

When asked whether 'beautiful' was a good word or too nebulous, Ben Grubb said: 'Too often we just look at beauty in terms of heritage so it's important to drive for beauty across new build developments. Our garden communities’ team is now working on 48 schemes across the country supporting local authorities in delivering many more homes - each project typically has more than 1,500 - where the focus is on making high quality spaces. The scale and the extra money from land value capture means that there is more to invest in creating beautiful places.’