A leading member of the urban taskforce is to dissent from its call for higher housing densities and more brownfield development.
Sir Peter Hall, a renowned planning academic, has written a minority report in which he states his opposition to the taskforce’s recommendations.
The taskforce, which was reconvened earlier this year by Richard Rogers, is to release its report next week. It is to call on the government to increase its target for the proportion of homes built on brownfield land from 60% to 75%. It is also to call for an increase in the 30 dwelling per hectare minimum for housing densities.
A taskforce member told Building that most of the group wanted to “embed” progress already made by the government. A draft of the report, seen by Building, also called on the government to scrap the growth areas.
Hall, a long-standing champion of the growth areas and new towns, told Rogers that he could not sign up to the taskforce’s more radical recommendations.
To preserve Hall’s support for the rest of the report, Rogers allowed him to outline his dissent in a series of paragraphs.
A taskforce spokesperson confirmed that the report would contain minority paragraphs on the issues of density and brownfield land. “The taskforce is a broad church. Everybody has signed up, but there are one or two areas that are more difficult for some,” he said.
The taskforce is a broad church. There are one or two areas that are difficult
The taskforce was commissioned by deputy prime minister John Prescott to produce a report on stimulating urban regeneration, which it published in 1999. Rogers reconvened the 12 members of the taskforce earlier this year to produce a progress report.
n Partnerships for Schools is to review every delayed project in the Building Schools for the Future programme in an effort to speed its progress.
Last week Richard Bowker, chief executive of Partnerships for Schools, said the government body would identify which projects were falling behind and would work with those local authorities to bring them back on track.
The review has been prompted by criticisms from the industry that the rollout of the BSF work has been too slow.
So far there have been no official preferred bidder appointments within the BSF programme, although last week Building reported that a Skanska-led consortium is set to win the contract for four schools in Bristol. The official announcement will be on 24 November.