New parliamentary group set up to discuss better housing design and placemaking

A new All Party Parliamentary Group has been formed with the aim of ensuring issues surrounding housing are prioritised and new ideas are formed to tackle the shortage of homes within the UK.

The newly-formed APPG on Building Communities will look to progress political discussions around good design and placemaking and how they can help solve the housing crisis. 

At a meeting at the Houses of Parliament on 18 June, Bob Blackman was voted chair, Labour MP Liz Twist and Conservative MP Stephen Hammond were voted vice-chairs, and Mark Prisk was selected to be group secretary. 

Other members will include: Sir Graham Brady, Baroness Brown, Lord Shipley, Lord Hodgson Andrew Lewer and Matt Western. The cross-party group of MPs and Peers will now meet in the autumn for its first session. 

The Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) will provide secretariat services for the APPG and the group will discuss proposals put forward in ACE’s report, also launched on the same date, Unlocking Housing: Reinvigorating Local Communities through Placemaking.

Commenting on the launch, Blackman, the APPG’s chair said: “I’m delighted to chair this new group which will take the discussion around good design and placemaking to the next political level. We need to find new ideas to tackle the housing crisis and build the homes the country needs. I firmly believe that only a holistic approach which marries community engagement, placemaking and strategic infrastructure spending will enable this.”

Responding to the group’s formation, ACE chief executive Dr Nelson Ogunshakin OBE said: “ACE is pleased to provide the secretariat for the APPG on Building Communities. The group’s formation is a vindication of ACE’s work in championing good design and infrastructure and ACE members should be excited that their views will be heard, discussed and debated in parliament.” 

Financial support for the APPG on Building Communities comes from ACE members AECOM, Mott MacDonald, Peter Brett Associates, Ramboll, Waterman and WSP. It also supported by non-member Heathrow.

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