This fourth post on the Raynsford Review is about Recommendations 11 and 24 ‘Consideration of a new building code’ and ‘Do no harm’ obligation in built environment professional codes of conduct’.
The Review recommends the consideration of a new building code, due to evidence gathered from planning professionals in the public and private sectors in relation to health and wellbeing, internal space standards, accessibility, energy performance, access to greenspace and climate change resilience. The new building code is needed in England, because current minimum standards of development (government building regulations; government standards on space and accessibility; and local and strategic plans and policies) are not transparent enough, and do not ensure people’s safety and wellbeing.
I see Recommendation 11, linking strongly to the final recommendation in the review, 24. This introduces the concept of a ‘Do no harm’ obligation in built environment professional codes of conduct.
As in Recommendation 11, considerable evidence was gathered from planning professionals, in this case highlighting concerns about ethical standards. The Review considered the medical profession’s ‘Do no harm’ expectation and the American Institute of Certified Planners code of conduct in deliberating this recommendation.
Although the review acknowledges that ‘harm’ is difficult to establish in planning terms, the duty would be on planners to apply it, when in their professional judgement, they consider that a planning proposal’s outcome would have a ‘demonstrably serious and
damaging effect on the health, safety or wellbeing of members of the public‘.
NOTE: Text in italics represents direct quotes from the Raynsford Review.