Better Design for Better Places Conference

Thu 14-Feb-2019
09:00 - 16:30
MH new.JPG



Invitation from Housing Minister, Kit Malthouse MP,


As Housing Minister, I have pledged to deliver housing in this country with the mission statement “more, better, faster”, and we want new developments to be welcomed and supported by communities. To do that, we need your help. That is why we are hosting the Better Design for Better Places Conference in Birmingham on February the 14th 2019.


The programme for the day will include speeches from me and the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, members of the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission and those who are delivering the development that we need to reach the 300,000 new homes a year target. The event structure is one that promotes debate and feedback – we want to hear from you throughout.



I look forward to seeing you in Birmingham in February.


Best wishes,

Kit Malthouse MP

Housing Minister




Conference: 09:00-16:30, Thursday 14th February 2019

Drinks reception: Evening of Wednesday 13th February 2019



University of Birmingham


This event is invitation only and you have been selected as someone integral to this mission. To secure your place, please select the registration tab above. If you are not able to attend, please feel free to nominate another senior representative from your organisation for consideration.



Wednesday 13 February: Drinks Reception 18.30 – 20.30

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

In conversation with Sir Roger Scruton, Chair of the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission

Pre-conference networking event open to all delegates. Please indicate if you will attend when registering.


Thursday 14 February: Better Design for Better Places Conference

Bramall Music Building, University of Birmingham


Conference chair – Gaby Hinsliff, journalist, The Guardian


09.30 Welcome by Steve Quartermain CBE, chief planner, MHCLG


09.45 Opening address – Lord Bourne, Parliamentary Under Secretary


10.00 Delivering design quality: Challenges for Government

  • Steve Quartermain CBE, chief planner, MHCLG
  • Rachel Fisher, deputy director, regeneration and infrastructure, MHCLG
  • Stephen Kinsella, executive director, land, Homes England

10:45 Combined authorities role in delivering design quality – Andy Street CBE, mayor, West Midlands Combined Authority Download slides


11:00 Morning coffee


11:30 Morning breakout sessions

(please indicate which session you wish to attend, places subject to availability)


A Delivering public health and social value through development Download slides

  • Lord Patel of Bradford OBE, chair of Breaking Barriers Innovations (chair)
  • Jon Bashford, research programme director of Breaking Barriers Innovations
  • Mike Maguire, chief officer, West Lancashire CCG
  • Danny McDonnell, strategy manager, NHS England
  • Flora Samuel, professor of architecture, University of Reading

B The role of policy and guidance in placemaking

  • Lindsey Richards, head of planning, enabling and design, Homes England (chair)
  • Dr Michael Bingham, head of planning strategy, MHCLG
  • Victoria Hills, chief executive, RTPI
  • Christine Thorby, planning inspector, Planning Inspectorate

C Innovation in housing delivery Download slides

  • Mark Farmer, founder, Cast (chair)
  • Mark Henderson, chief executive, Home Group
  • Steve Dallaway, housing development manager, Birmingham City Council

  • Karl Whiteman, managing director, Berkeley Homes Urban Renaissance Download slides

12.30 In conversation with George Clarke, architect, presenter and writer Download slides


13.00 Keynote address from Kit Malthouse MP, housing minister, MHCLG


13.15 Lunch


14.15 Afternoon breakout sessions

(please indicate which session you wish to attend, places subject to availability)


D Infrastructure, highways and homes

  • Sue Percy, chief executive, Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation (chair)
  • Kay Hughes, director, Khaa and National Infrastructure Commission
  • Phil Jones, chairman, PJ Associates

E Development in rural areas and greenfield Download slides

  • Ruth Reed, director, Green Planning Studio (chair)
  • Dave Gray, chief operating officer, HAB
  • Dr Richard Simmons, chair, policy committee, Campaign to Protect Rural England

F Beauty, what does this mean? Download slides

  • Sarah Weir OBE, chief executive, Design Council (chair)
  • Professor Robert Adam, director, Adam Architecture
  • Gillian Horn, partner, Penoyre&Prasad

15.15 Taking responsibility for better design

  • Steve Quartermain, chief planning officer, MHCLG (chair)
  • Philip Barnes, group land director, Barratt Developments PLC
  • John Lewis, executive director, Thamesmead, Peabody
  • Paul Watson, board member, Made and formerly director for regeneration and development, Solihull MBC
  • Fiona Fletcher-Smith, group director, development and sales, L&Q
  • Teresa Borsuk, senior partner, Pollard Thomas Edwards

16.15 Closing keynote address – The Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, secretary of state, MHCLG


16.30 Conference close.



Ocean Media Group are overseeing delegate attendance at this event so please do email should you have any queries relating to this element.






Joining Instructions



Joining Instructions


Pre-conference drinks reception

Date: Wednesday 13 February 2019

Time: 18:30-20:30

Venue: Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

Address: Chamberlain Square Birmingham, B3 3DH

Website: Click here


Better Design for Better Places Conference

Date: Thursday 14 February 2019

Time: 09:30-16:30

Venue: Great Hall, University of Birmingham

Address: Great Hall, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT

Website: Click here


Getting there

Registration will take place in the Great Hall, which can be found at: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT. On arrival at the University of Birmingham campus, make your way towards the clock tower, affectionately known as ‘Old Joe’, which you can easily see from most locations on campus. When you are at the foot of the clock tower, you will have reached the Aston Webb semicircle of red-brick buildings. The Great Hall is through the large wooden doors beneath the central dome. More details here.



Visitors arriving before 18.00 Monday to Friday should park in the University’s North East Car Park on Pritchatts Road, B15 2SA. This costs £2.50 per hour or £7.00 for up to 10 hours, using the RingGo cashless system. Parking here is free of charge after 18.00 Mon-Fri, and on weekends. Parking is available around the University campus free of charge after 18.00 on weekdays, and all day on weekends. Access to the campus is via the University’s East Gate, on Edgbaston Park Road.



Please find the latest conference programme on the conference website via the link here. The programme includes speeches from the Housing Minister and the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government. George Clarke, architect, presenter and writer, will also be speaking alongside over 35 other excellent contributors to this agenda.


The Invitation from the Housing Minister

Please find the invitation from the Housing Minister here.


Contact details

If you have any further queries regarding the conference, or queries on the day, please do get in touch with the contacts below:

For speaker queries, please contact or at 07341815797

For delegate queries, please contact


Dietary requirements

if you have any dietary requirements, we are not already aware of please email



If you have any accessibility requirements, we are not already aware of please email



We have a limited fund available to cover the transport costs of those who have a genuine need for assistance, to facilitate them attending the event, e.g. unpaid individuals or very small charities. If you require this assistance, please contact with an estimated cost for your travel. We will confirm that there is money available ASAP and send you a form to complete to claim back your expenses.



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