End Discriminatory Planning Decisions: Build Sustainable Homes For All

by Elsie Owusu OBE RIBA FRSA Chartered Architect

End Discriminatory Planning Decisions: Build Sustainable Homes For All

by Elsie Owusu OBE RIBA FRSA Chartered Architect
Elsie Owusu OBE RIBA FRSA Chartered Architect
Case Owner
I’m a black, female architect, campaigning, with others, for equality, diversity, inclusion and sustainability in architecture and the built environment http://www.owusu.uk.
12
days to go
£5,730
pledged of £5,000 stretch target from 122 pledges
Pledge now
Elsie Owusu OBE RIBA FRSA Chartered Architect
Case Owner
I’m a black, female architect, campaigning, with others, for equality, diversity, inclusion and sustainability in architecture and the built environment http://www.owusu.uk.
Pledge now

This case is raising funds for its stretch target. Your pledge will be collected within the next 24-48 hours (and it only takes two minutes to pledge!)

End systemic discrimination in UK planning: build sustainable homes for all, regardless of ethnicity, gender, age, culture and disability. 

I’m a black, female architect, campaigning for equality, diversity, inclusion  and sustainability in architecture and the built environment. http://www.owusu.uk.

Thanks for helping to raise £5000 for legal fees to fight the unfair and discriminatory planning refusal by Hastings Borough Council (HBC). See links to planning portal:

https://publicaccess.hastings.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=neighbourComments&keyVal=_HSTBC_DCAPR_117772

https://publicaccess.hastings.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=makeComment&keyVal=_HSTBC_DCAPR_118016

HBC claims to be concerned about “loss of open space”, if this small site is used for eco-homes, but the Government has ruled that development would  cause “no significant” environmental harm.

While rejecting proposals from two BAME applicants  on this small redundant site, Hastings  Council granted  permission for another 210 “standard” new houses by white developers, on large areas of nearby land - a total of 400 houses in all.

Direct and/or indirect discrimination on the basis of race, gender and ethnicity in architecture, construction and planning is well researched and documented: https://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/news/architecture-is-systemically-racist-so-what-is-the-profession-going-to-do-about-it.

Existing homes in this area of Hastings are mainly owned by white residents. Some appear to have consistently opposed the applications from BAME applicants. This is unfair and could lead to disparate outcomes.

Government and local authority guidelines should be applied impartially and fairly, regardless of ethnicity, gender, age, disability or culture. The Public Sector Equality Duty also applies and the local authority has a concomitant duty to promote equality.

My designs are climate-friendly, adaptable for people with disabilities and elderly people with dementia. From the established and demonstrated merits of these homes and Hastings’ massive shortage of housing supply, I don’t understand why the Council should reject these applications. 

Given the challenges of the climate emergency, lifestyle changes forced by CoVid, and the threat of high energy bills, these designs are highly sustainable - with solar panels, air-source heat pumps, super-insulated walls and triple-glazed windows. They are in landscaped gardens with wildflower meadows and tree planting to increase the habitat for birds, bats and other wildlife by award winning landscape designers.

The National Planning Policy Framework states: “Local planning authorities should approach decisions…in a positive and creative way…and work proactively with applicants to…improve the economic, social and environmental conditions of the area (and) seek to approve applications for sustainable development where possible.”

The independent Design Review Panel, reviewing my designs said, “The Panel is supportive of the project aims and welcomes…this exciting form of development…” 

Maya Evans, Hastings Climate Change Champion has said, “Our objective is to make Hastings Council carbon neutral by 2030 and aim to supply 30% of the town’s electricity through local sustainable energy…”

Thanks so much for your kind support in sharing and donating. Local, national and international responses to my designs have been overwhelmingly positive. Hastings Council and its planning department should welcome this opportunity to act positively against institutionalised discrimination- setting an example for equality, diversity, inclusion and excellence in sustainable housing.

Recent contributions

  • Guynextdoor pledged £5
    Match Guynextdoor's pledge of £5
    You bought this 1/4acre land @Clive Emson auctions in March16 for £16k.In 6yrs you couldn’t get planning permission. Have you actually read why local residents appealed it in the comment section?Four x4story 40ft tall townhouses in a quiet residential area towering over a kids playground&our gardens
  • Local pledged £5
    Match Local's pledge of £5
    FYI- Falsely accusing someone else of being a racist in order to get an advantage can be regarded as a deceitful strategy to obtain favours or sympathies.False racism accusations are hurtful,disrespectful and can be equally damaging to the dignity, character, and status of individuals accused.
  • Local pledged £5
    Match Local's pledge of £5
    You have had 119 pledge £5700+ to fund your legal fees. Yet your company “ ELSIE OWUSU ARCHITECTS LTD” has a capital reserve of £363,380. Why can’t you fund your own campaign. You think it’s okay to claim you fight racism when you’re trying to make £2.2m from the potential house sale.

Be a promoter

Your share on Facebook could raise £26 for the case

I'll share on Facebook

    There are no public comments on this case page.