Thu, 31 May 07
The Royal institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has called for the Government to push their sustainability agenda in the built environment by reforming the planning system...
RICS believes that all new development proposals should be given a sustainability rating which integrates environmental and social value as well as risk.
This measure would enable the findings of the appraisals to be presented in a straightforward and non-technical table, in the manner of the RICS-backed Energy Performance Certificates, and would drive sustainable development through engaging consumer awareness and demand.
RICS also calls on government to keep the 'needs' test for supermarkets, which would prevent supermarkets needlessly creating large out-of-town superstores that could have a detrimental affect on the sustainability of town centres and the future of the high street.
Equally, government needs to create a national framework so that decisions about national infrastructure projects such as new roads, power stations and airports can be integrated into a development plan over a 15-year period.
This would help avoid the long delays that currently affect major infrastructure projects.
Independent planning commission needed
RICS supports an independent planning commission which will accelerate the approval of national infrastructure projects.
RICS spokesperson Andrew Warner: "The forthcoming planning White Paper is the perfect opportunity for government to prove to the consumer that it has sustainability at the heart of its agenda.
"Large infrastructure projects should be seen as part of a wider holistic strategy which covers all aspects of development.
"Government must have the political courage to provide the country with a planning system which is good for consumers, businesses and for the environment.
"Government should also have a close look at the principle of targets for determining applications and their detrimental affect on the planning process."
More ‘disparate’ housing market in the future
He continued: This and the projected reduction in the supply of residential units delivered to the market this year suggest that we may see a more disparate housing market in the future, with above trend price inflation being achieved in locations which have not yet achieved equilibrium in their housing stock.
For the country as a whole, it is fair to say that we have gone a long way to reduce this historical imbalance between demand and supply, a commendable achievement in a relatively short period of time.
Furthermore, the market has now clearly taken a more conservative view as regards the delivery of units, a factor which will underwrite the performance of the market in the medium term. Both of these factors bode well for the future price performance of the housing market, which is positive news for the economy overall.
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