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RIBA calls for design to be ‘entrenched’ into housing policy

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The RIBA has called for the government to ‘entrench design’ into its housing policy after the period for responses to the Housing Green Paper came to a close yesterday

The RIBA has called for the government to ‘entrench design’ into its housing policy after the period for responses to the Housing Green Paper came to a close yesterday.

The body also highlighted that regional design panels should be introduced and used more readily to ‘ensure quality design’, while the government’s eco-towns programme should be used to showcase pioneering design.

RIBA president Sunand Prasad said: ‘We welcome the government’s commitment to design in the Housing Green Paper. However, we feel that much more can be done if ambitious new housing targets are to meet the social and environmental needs of today’s consumer.

‘Design must be entrenched into the system – and we repeat our call for the systematic use of local design review panels to enable better design standards in housing.’

Prasad said the RIBA is working on ‘standard terms of reference’ to enable regional design review panels to ensure consistency, as well as speeding up the system.

He added: ‘The planning system needs to be geared towards approving high-quality architecture more quickly.

‘I am convinced that greater attention to design is needed if we are to balance the energy demand of construction and use of our homes with the imperative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.’

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