The Parliamentary Select Committee on the Built Environment, which will be established following the general election in May, was proposed by Lord Hunt of Chesterton following a debate in the Lords following the Farrell Review, which marks its first birthday this month.
“We have never had a select committee on this subject. [They] are extraordinarily powerful bodies … it would be the only way to have a genuine cross-cutting move,” he said.
Baroness Janet Whittaker, vice-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Design and Innovation Group and Baroness Kay Andrews, former chair of English Heritage, submitted a formal application for the committee following discussions with the Farrell Review team.
Sir Terry Farrell, architect and author of the Farrell Review, believes a cross-party body would create a “powerful new voice” for urbanism in the UK.
“The stewardship, long-term planning and identity of real places should be a fundamental part of built environment policy,” added Farrell.
“This select committee will be a powerful new voice in that debate and we look forward to hearing more detail about its remit in due course.”
Both Baroness Janet Whittaker and Baroness Kay Andrews took part in the Lords debate regarding the prospect of a select committee, with Whittaker warning the UK would be “missing an extraordinary opportunity” if it failed to create the conditions for sustainable placemaking outlined in the report.
Meanwhile, Farrell believes his own review is already delivering increased awareness within local communities, citing the development of urban rooms where local communities can learn more about an area’s past built environment and the prospects for the future.
Image: John Lord