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RIBA backs Queen’s speech and new architecture minister

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The RIBA has voiced its support for moves to change the planning system in today’s Queen’s Speech - while president Ruth Reed welcomed new architecture minister John Penrose

The institute reacted favourably to the announcement of a forthcoming decentralisation and localism bill as well as an energy bill and a public bodies reform bill.

RIBA president Ruth Reed said: ‘We are keen to see the new coalition Government place a greater emphasis on architecture and the construction sector which make such an important contribution to the UK economy.

‘We are supportive of allowing local communities to be more involved in plan-making to ensure greater legitimacy and a move away from a development control system.’

Reed however raised concern over the level of ‘certainty’ deliverable under the conservative party’s ‘Open Source’ planning paper. She added: ‘We are not alone in thinking that a “radical reboot” to the planning system may not provide that.’

She also stressed the role minimum energy efficiency standards and tax incentives for energy performance certificates in for sale or rented homes could play in strengthening retrofitting ambitions.

The RIBA also welcomed the new architecture minister John Penrose, who recently took over from previous incumbent Ed Vaizey.

Reed said: ‘We will work closely with John to ensure that architecture and design is a priority across Government. An enthusiastic advocate for architecture is what the profession needs.’

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