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How do we create places as well as build homes?

How do we create places as well as build homes? How can profitable development best be a force for good? Can development help re-balance the British economy?

All questions which were debated at last week’s House of Lords event with RML’s partner the social enterprise Create Streets, and afterwards at an RML-hosted drinks reception.

Hosted and introduced by The Lord Taylor of Goss Moor – former chair of the National Housing Federation – other speakers included:

  • Nicholas Boys Smith – the founding director of the Create Streets Foundation
  • The Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP – the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government
  • Tony Pidgley CBE – chair of the Berkeley Group
  • A closing address from RML’s CEO Simon Kidney.

All the speakers built on the recent Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission report, which placed great emphasis on the need to build not just houses in volume, but houses that people want to live in and places that can become communities.

This is supported by the in-depth research carried out by the Create Streets Foundation. People want to live in neighbourhoods. In communities where they can work, send their children to school and build relationships with neighbours. In places where they can feel the benefits of green space created as integral to their homes.

“Four challenges underpin our work,” explained Nicholas Boys Smith. “The need to provide more homes, to tread more lightly on the planet, to level up our society across left-behind areas around the country and to worry more about the wellbeing of our fellow citizens.”

Simon Kidney supports research undertaken in this area. “As part of UK Housebuilding’s supply chain, Robinson Manufacturing is proud to be part of an an industry that is open to new thinking like that found in the report by the Building Better Building Beautiful Commission (co-chaired by Nicholas Boys Smith). As more leading figures get behind this drive to make places as well as to build houses, the pace of change is starting to accelerate and I’m delighted that we can play a part in this.”

The event was attended by high profile figures from across the sector, from government and local government to architects and think tanks, from housing associations to housebuilders and developers.

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