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Planners slam RIBA's new design initiative priorities

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Town planners have poured cold water on a new RIBA campaign to ensure design is the top priority in the planning process.

RIBA president Marco Goldschmied will this autumn launch a campaign to increase the profile of architects in the planning system and to persuade the government to adopt 'a design-led holistic culture of community-based, integrated, environmentally viable buildings', as seen in the Netherlands and Scandinavia.

But former Royal Institute of Town Planning president Brian Raggett said that design should not necessarily be at the top of the planning agenda, 'particularly if you live in a place like Barnsley. In practice there are other issues which need to be addressed such as land assembly, the speed of regeneration and the linkages between those involved in regeneration, such as local authority health, education and planning departments.'

Raggett also warned that the RIBA initiative could clash with the RTPI's lobbying efforts in advance of this autumn's Urban White Paper although the RIBA plans to co-ordinate its efforts with the Urban Design Alliance, which includes the RTPI .

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