Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

RIBA slams William Hague for return to 'style police'

  • Comment

The RIBA has warned of the return of the 'style police' following the publication of new Tory policies which could force architects to use local styles and local materials on new housing.

The policy is one of many urban renewal proposals set out this week in the opposition's mini-manifesto. Others include the demolition of high-rise residential blocks, new rights for individuals to appeal against planning permissions, and a single minister to co-ordinate regeneration across government departments. Regional Development Agencies and regional assemblies will be abolished, the planning system will be made cheaper and national housebuilding targets will be scrapped.

But for architecture, William Hague's most controversial move is to give local planners jurisdiction over style and materials 'to prevent the spread of identikit homes'.

'The RIBA fought and fought to give people the right to choose the style they wanted, ' said the chairwoman of the RIBA's planning policy group Wendy Shillam.'To suggest that the style police are coming back is invidious.'

She gave a cautious welcome to the Tory plan 'to get rid of the worst of the tower blocks or large estates', and welcomed the pledge of 'radical new approaches to urban regeneration'. But she said that overall the approach shown was too superficial.

The manifesto also contained a thinly veiled attack on the government's slowness to implement the recommendations of the Urban Task Force and much of its policies on regeneration echo the task force recommendations.

Urban Task Force spokesman Ben Rich denied that a task force member had briefed the Tories but added: 'We are not jealous or partisan with our proposals and we'd be delighted if a government of a different complexion put our proposals into action.'

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.