On Tuesday, British Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick announced a new government advisory body intended to “incorporate beauty and quality” into the country’s planning processes, according to a UK government press release.
The news came in the wake of a series of reforms announced last month aimed at streamlining planning processes across the UK and facilitating the construction of new homes. These changes also increased local control of planning projects and required local governments to create their own design codes that addressed “beauty, quality and environmental standards”. This new body will apparently help local governments “to produce design codes that define beautiful design”.
What exactly does the government mean when it uses the word beauty It’s not entirely clear, but Jenrick’s announcement that Nicholas Boys Smith will lead the group may indicate what the housing secretary has in mind. Boys Smith was co-chair of the Building Better Building Beautiful Commission along with the late anti-modernist critic Roger Scruton, who lost his position due to inflammatory comments about George Soros, Muslims and the Chinese people. Boys Smith was also the founding director of the Create Streets organization, which aims to “make it easier to co-create beautiful, sustainable, prosperous, economically and socially successful places with strong local support and that residents will love for generations. “, according to its website.