The commission is keen to hear views on how to improve the design of homes and neighbourhoods through the planning and development processes

Royal Stoke Hospital by Colour Urban Design Ltd, winner of the Design for a Large-Scale Development Award at the LI Awards 2016. Image: Kristen McCluskie Photography

The Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission has opened a call for evidence from practitioners in the natural and built environments.

Established earlier this year by the Ministry of Housing, Communities, and Local Government (MHCLG), the Commission aims to explore the role of beauty in the built environment in England and to ‘increase the use of high-quality design’ in residential schemes.

The Commission has had a troubled start. Its original chair, Sir Roger Scruton, was sacked after making comments that were interpreted as antisemitic and Islamophobic. The Housing Minister has been engaged in an ongoing argument about the basic premise of the Commission with architects, many of whom are pointedly ignoring it.

Now the Commission, under its new interim Chair Nicholas Boys-Smith of Create Streets, has called for evidence of best practice in building new homes and communities.

The Landscape Institute works to demonstrate to the government the importance of good design, and of the role that landscape professionals play in helping to achieve it. We are currently compiling a selection of best practice case studies to share with the Commission.

Get involved

If you have a good example of a recent scheme where the design has been of a high standard, and which you would like us to share with the Commission, please email

To respond to the Commission’s survey yourself, click here. (Closing date 31 May 2019.)


  1. Sir Roger Scruton was dismissed after a deliberate stitch up by George Eaton of The New Statesman publication – who then posted a photograph of himself swigging champagne with a caption ‘celebrating’ his stitch up of getting Sir Roger sacked. Leaving aside the viciously unpleasant and unfortunately all too typical social media behavior of certain viewpoints within today’s society, such as Eaton’s; the New Statesman had to later apologise and confess to taking Sir Roger’s full interview and truncating it and then deliberately twisting his words to present him as making the remarks he was falsely accused off. The full transcript of the 17 minute interview is available for those with open minds who wish to read it for themselves. It would therefore be better if the Landscape Institute would refrain from the continuing repeating of this deliberate mis-characterisation of Sir Roger Scruton and perhaps report that there are still growing calls by senior Government officials as well as other Architectural critics and Academics for his re – en statement in the light of the true facts. I note there has been a continuous slow drift in the last 12 months within the LI towards representing only one very particular view of wider society and national opinion. Whether deliberate or not, this slide in to using loaded and wholly disingenuous politically motivated language and terminology as well as lack of fact checking and even handedness is in danger of invalidating anything else that is actually worthy of consideration that is contained within this article, or other such pieces, that it sets out to report and present.

    • Dear Guest,

      The article does not make any statement about the merit of Sir Roger Scruton’s sacking, one way or another. The LI does not have a view on this. We simply repeat the official reason given by MHCLG for his removal as Chair of the Commission.

      With that said: I have slightly amended the article to be as factually clear as possible. (For posterity: the original read: “Sir Roger Scruton, was sacked after making antisemitic and Islamophobic comments”, whereas it now reads: “Sir Roger Scruton, was sacked after making comments that were interpreted as antisemitic and Islamophobic.”).

      I want to take this opportunity to remind anyone reading that one of the three pillars of the LI’s Corporate Strategy is inclusivity, and we take this very seriously. It should go without saying that discriminatory language of any kind has no place in our sector.

      With regards to your final point – we are always happy to address any factual errors in any of our articles. Do highlight these.

      Best regards
      Ben (LI Policy Manager)


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