CABE has warned the government over the design implications of Business Planning Zones (AJ 19.12.02) in its official response to the initiative.
The commission is concerned that BPZs, which will see planning regulations relaxed to stimulate economic growth, could trigger poor design and a return to out-of-town industrial parks.
The commission's response, Ten Ways to Make Quality Count: Business Planning Zones, 'draws together the lessons' from Margaret Thatcher's Enterprise Zones in an effort to 'ensure that speed and efficiency is not at the expense of quality'.
And it calls on the government to respect the importance of high-quality masterplans, design codes, a recognition of the marketability of good architecture and an effective regional strategy.
CABE chief executive Jon Rouse said the government had to avoid past mistakes. 'For too long we have seen the development of poorly designed business parks - bulky sheds on the outskirts of towns accessible only by car, ' he said. 'The aim of BPZs should be the creation of high-quality environments that will be attractive to investment.'