The government launched its Planning Policy Statement 1 (PPS1) at the Delivering Sustainable Communities Summit in Manchester yesterday (Tuesday 1 February), putting a new stronger emphasis on 'good design'.
The widely trailed move represents a new stage in the ODPM's effort to appear focused on the encouragement of quality architecture.
Planning minister Keith Hill said: 'We are putting stronger emphasis on good design, reflecting the importance that the government attaches to ensuring high-quality design is delivered through the planning system.
'PPS1 makes clear that good design is integral to good planning in delivering safe, inclusive and successful communities. It's all about ensuring we get the right development, in the right place, at the right time.
'It provides an important, over-arching policy framework that should help improve people's lives and the places where they live, work and enjoy, while protecting our environment and natural resources - now and in the future,' he added.
The RIBA welcomed the announcement, claiming it to be a clear statement of the importance of good design in delivering sustainable communities.
The institute has previously contended that sustainable development cannot be delivered without ensuring quality design, and that a constructive dialogue between planners, architects and those applying for planning permission is absolutely essential.
President George Ferguson said: 'I greatly welcome the much stronger emphasis on design in PPS1. The government has listened to the RIBA's concerns and has clearly stated the crucial link between good quality and good planning for sustainable places.'
PPS1, also known as 'Delivering Sustainable Development', is part of a government package of reforms for the planning system that places the planning system in the context of other government policies.by Rob Sharpe