CIOB expresses concern over quality in Government’s PDR White Paper

The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) has responded to the Government’s White Paper Planning for the Future – outlining reforms to the country’s planning system.

While the overarching drive for policy change is to deliver additional housing, there are clear impacts on the quality of residential conversions created through permitted development rights (PDRs), with many failing to meet national space standards, lacking amenity space and suffering from low quality design and poor locations. High volumes of PDRs have wide ranging impacts on transport, community facilities, play space and green space, and without Section 106 agreements or Community Infrastructure Levy contributions to offset the costs associated with provision of community infrastructure, local authorities are further financially burdened.

With all the work the construction industry has done to reform post-Grenfell, PDR risks jeopardising the public’s trust by creating a national policy programme to produce poor quality accommodation as standard. PDR has already received intense media scrutiny, with many well publicised failures of quality produced to date. The CIOB is concerned that the Government is sleep walking into a policy regime that will produce yet more misery and tragedy for occupants.

Furthermore, it is vital that the proposed changes to the planning system do not put quantity before the long term quality, character and accessibility of our built environment.

Eddie Tuttle, Director of Policy, Research and Public Affairs at the CIOB, said: “The White paper published today highlights the need for reform of the planning system in order to build the homes we desperately need. But we are concerned the Government’s focus on extending permitted development rights, including the ability to demolish and rebuild commercial and residential buildings on existing sites without a full planning —if implemented without significant safeguards—will lock in more unacceptable standard development, the consequences of which we will live with for generations or must rectify later at greater expense.”