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RIBA responds to planning White Paper

The RIBA has issued its response to the government's planning White Paper, reiterating its call for more commitment towards good design.

The reply came as the deadline for all recommendations from the construction industry on the White Paper passed on Friday (17 August).

Speaking about the RIBA's response, president Jack Pringle said: 'There is a clear need for planning legislation to be freed from excessive regulation, so the RIBA broadly supports many of the measures put forward.

'Cutting the need for planning permission for minor developments for instance, is a good idea in principle. In practice however, new requirements would result in little change in terms of freeing up time for the planning authorities.'

Pringle added: 'I am disappointed in the lack of commitment to good design expressed within the proposals. Straightforward measures such as the implementation of design panels and the extensive appointment of empowered design champions would have direct results.'

Pringle also stated that although the RIBA was supportive of the government's commitment to extra training and development of planning skills, it wanted design issues to become an integral part of this.

'The RIBA believes that it is crucial to drive quality into the planning system,' added Pringle. 'If the government wants to carry out its ambitious building programme - with 3 million new homes promised by 2020 - it will have to guarantee high standards.

'Good design is key to this, it is an enabler, not a cost and will ensure development has a positive impact on our communities for generations to come.'

by Richard Vaughan

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