John Howell MP, Parliamentary Private Secretary to Greg Clark MP, Minister for Decentralisation emphasised the Government’s support for architecture and the role of architects under localismat a reception hosted by the Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA) and the Associate Parliamentary Group on Architecture and Planning on Wednesday to an audience of MPs, Peers and architects.
John Howell MP delivered the speech asserting the Government’s commitment to promoting the highest standards of architecture and design, emphasising the value of good design, and the important role of architects in shaping any guidance and best practice needed to accompany policy.
Mr Howell emphasised how Government should encourage the industry to raise the quality of the built environment, and asserted the importance of continuing a dialogue with partners including the RIBA to ensure that community groups who will now be in the driving seat locally to have the right support from professionals.
Speaking to an audience of MPs, Peers, architects, planners and policy-makers, Mr Howell said:
“Members of the built environment professions have a role to play in the new planning system, not only in their traditional areas but also as experts at working with communities, and translating their visions into action. We want to promote the highest standards of architecture and design, and ensure that community groups and councils have support, should they need it. Moreover, we should continue to encourage the industry to raise the quality of the built environment.
“Design is important. We have no intention of abolishing the duty on local authorities to have regard to the desirability of achieving good design. It remains a powerful lever to encourage local authorities to commit to achieving good design both in local decision making and plan setting. We look forward to continuing the dialogue with partners such as RIBA, and my colleague Bob Neill is meeting the RIBA’s President next week.”
RIBA President Ruth Reed said:
“We are pleased with the Government's commitment to engage with professionals within the built environment whilst shaping policy that will inform how communities will be involved in decision-making for their areas. The commitment to ensure that good design and in particular the duty on local authorities to have regard for achieving good design is a clear signal of intent from the Government and we wholeheartedly support that.”
A copy of John Howell's speech will be available shortly here.