Regeneration experts have highlighted the need for high-quality design in sustainable communities in the South-east.

At a recent private debate organised by Kent council, where 78,000 homes are planned under the ODPM’s sustainable communities plan, experts voiced concern about poor Urban Design.

Sir Sandy Bruce Lockhart, the leader of Kent council, said: “We need to raise the quality of housing. We need to create communities that are really attractive to live in, with a sense of place, a sense of belonging and a sense of Kentish identity.”

Bruce Lockhart singled out Kent’s most recent large-scale housing development at Ashford as a model of bad urban planning. He added: “We want to cluster houses around a community centre, a school, cafe or square.”

Architect Piers Gough, the county’s architectural champion, pinpointed demarcation disputes between developers as “the biggest issue” in regeneration. He said: “Developers come to us who just want to build housing, but not a pub or other uses that make up a community.”