CABE chief executive Jon Rouse has called on the government to make design quality a statutory part of the planning system.
Speaking at the Building Homes Quality Awards in London, Rouse elaborated on ideas set out in CABE's Building for Life document released earlier this year, saying: "The government could make a start [on improving urban design] by writing the pursuit of quality into a statutory statement of purpose for the planning system and by cracking down on councils that turn down well-designed, high-density schemes for no good reason."

Rouse backed the use of prefabrication in tackling the housing crisis. He said: "Don't tell me that we've been here before in the 1960s and the customer won't buy it. I wasn't even born then and nor was anyone else under 35. Just because a previous generation stuffed up doesn't mean that we aren't willing to apply technology to meet our housing needs."