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Rock reiterates call for brownfield agency

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RIBA president David Rock yesterday added to the housing debate by repeating his call to the government to set up a brownfield agency in evidence to the environment, transport and the regions committee.

He called for the accent to be put on improving city life rather than protecting the countryside, for more homes over shops and in redundant industrial buildings, and for a target of 80/20 brownfield/greenfield.

His comments followed a speech on Tuesday by construction minister Nick Raynsford at the Housing Design Awards at the Institution of Civil Engineers, which disclosed that there will shortly be a Good Practice Guide on design in the planning system, in a move away from standard estate layouts based on inflexible highway planning. Raysnford added that a review of Part L of the Building Regulations was on the way. But most important was his push for designers to 'break free of the stereotyped forms of the past to create new patterns of dwelling, and new housing landscapes which are a creative response to today's needs'.

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