A cross-party coalition, including Richmond Park and North Kingston MP Zac Goldsmith, as well as leading architects, has come together to call for beauty to be put at the heart of the Government’s drive to build 300,000 homes a year.
Zac contributed an essay on social housing to an essay collection published by the think tank Policy Exchange, includes contributions from Sir Roger Scruton, the conservative philosopher and Chair of the Government’s new Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission; Ben Derbyshire, President of the Royal Institute of British Architects; Dame Fiona Reynolds, Master of Emmanuel College Cambridge and former Director-General of the National Trust; Ben Bolgar, Senior Director at The Prince’s Foundation; Sir Terry Farrell, the award-winning architect; and fellow MP John Cruddas. It features a foreword by the Housing Minister, Kit Malthouse MP. The essay collection has been published to feed into the Government’s new commission on Building Better, Building Beautiful.
Zac’s essay – entitled How to create beautiful social housing – argues for the regeneration of post-War local authority housing estates across London. He says it can create places that are more beautiful and community-minded for social housing tenants across London. Zac’s argument makes clear that estate regeneration can be a win-win for tenants – nobody would be forced to leave their homes or pay higher rents, but they would live in roomier and more attractive accommodation.
Commenting, Zac said: “London is home to 3,500 post-war housing estates – they are far too often poorly designed and isolated from the communities in which they sit, as well as being unattractive and energy inefficient. This is unfair on their residents and presents a huge obstacle to building the homes we urgently need. It doesn’t need to be this way – Ham Close in my own constituency is a fantastic example of how to do estate regeneration properly, creating more and better homes without a negative impact on current residents.”
The essay collection can be found here - https://policyexchange.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Building-Beautiful.pdf