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Last edited 22 Sep 2020
Good design is the emphasis in reformed planning system
 Planning for the Future follow up
In August 2020, the Government published proposals for a new, faster, simpler planning system which will require local authorities to introduce their own local design codes – enhancing beauty, quality and environmental standards by giving communities control over what is built in their areas.
In September 20220, to support this action, Housing Secretary, Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, appointed Nicholas Boys Smith to establish and chair a steering group tasked with driving up design standards and supporting local communities to produce codes defining beautiful design in each community.
The Housing Secretary has also appointed Charles O’Brien as the government’s Listing Heritage Adviser to help conserve some of England’s historic buildings as part of a local heritage campaign. As an architectural historian and commissioner at Historic England, O’Brien will work with councils to increase the number of buildings and structures of significant historical and cultural value that are locally listed, helping to protect the buildings through the planning system.
 Three categories of eligibility
The new design body will support communities in producing binding codes for their local area, increasing the focus on design and quality in the planning process and ensuring local design and architecture is recognised and conserved. This work marks the next step in placing beauty in the Government’s reformed planning system and consigning ‘anywhereville’ developments to history.
Nationally important heritage assets (such as listed buildings, scheduled monuments and so on) are identified and given statutory protection by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (having consulted Historic England). This is on the basis of nationally set selection criteria. Locally important heritage assets are identified by local planning authorities and neighbourhood plan forums based on locally set criteria.
Historic England will work with O'Brien to promote greater awareness of the benefits of locally listing historic buildings. This will support people in the nomination of important buildings they think should be protected in their area. They will also work together to identify the 10 counties that are home to many historic buildings that are not yet protected and would most benefit from the additional listings.
Buildings and structures eligible for local lists can include homes, cottages, cinemas, theatres and industrial heritage. This work will be supported by experts at Historic England and £700,000 government funding.
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