Consultation and legislation

Other responses

RIBA response to the Farrell Review of Architecture and the Built Environment 

The RIBA has submitted evidence to the Farrell Review, a review of architecture and the built environment being led by Sir Terry Farrell and commissioned by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

In its response, the RIBA called for the introduction of a Built Environment Design policy and the appointment of a Chief Built Environment Design Adviser within government in order to embed a more ambitious approach to design in the built environment. The RIBA also called for government to show greater leadership as a client, recommending a series of reforms to public procurement and the use of public land designed to put greater emphasis on design quality. 

The RIBA recommended that the government should establish a Design Quality Task Force to review whether its policies and programmes on the built environment were set up to deliver long-term value. In addition, the RIBA called for a Design Quality audit to assess the market conditions in different areas of the development industry (e.g. housing), to better understand where the market is failing to deliver good quality development and to guide future government intervention.


Read the RIBA's full response to the Farrell Review

Read an executive summary of the RIBA's response to the Farrell Review.

RIBA response to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport Consultation on Improvements to the system of Listed Building Consents

August 2012

The RIBA has responded to the government's consultation on changing the system of Listed Building Consents.

We welcome the government's aim of speeding up the processes associated with Listed Building Consent and of removing unnecessary bureaucracy, increasing clarity and promoting consistency within the process. However, we have considerable doubts as to whether the four options being presented offer any improvement over the present system.

In the our response we have set out alternative ways of improving the efficiency and speed of Listed Building Consents, such as implementing a set period for registering an application.

You can read the RIBA's full response below.

RIBA response to the Treasury consultation on increasing VAT on alterations to listed buildings

May 2012

The RIBA has responded to the government's consultation on increasing the rate of VAT on alterations to listed buildings from 0% to 20%.

The RIBA is concerned about the proposed VAT rate change to the approved alteration of a Listed Building from zero rate to standard rate and has made the following recommendations:

  • The approved alterations rate should be kept at zero

  • Only if a substantial change in VAT application is confirmed as inevitable, a longer transition period than is currently proposed would give institutions, owners, fund-raisers and the building industry the necessary time to adjust their plans

  • Phased implementation of any VAT rise over a longer period, so that alterations already underway do not stall and the specialist construction industry has time to respond to the changes

  • An extension to the Listed Places of Worship Grants Scheme should be made clearer and more predictable, and include buildings belonging to other voluntary and charitable groups, with an increase in the funds of this scheme adequate to cover all VAT liabilities.
  • A long-term vision that would correct the anomaly of different VAT rates would be for all VAT rates for works to Listed Buildings to be reduced, to reflect the emphasis the Government has given in the NPPF to maintaining these irreplaceable resources

We have also been campaigning as part of the Cut the VAT Coalition to oppose the measure, and the Coalition sent the Chancellor of the Exchequer a letter asking him to reconsider the proposal at the start of May.

You can read the RIBA's response and the Coalition's letter to the Chancellor below.

RIBA response to legislative proposals for revised public procurement Directive

January 2012

The RIBA has responded to a request from the Cabinet Office in its Procurement Policy Note of 21 December 2011 for views on the European Commission's recent legislative proposals for a revised public procurement Directive.

The European Commission published its proposals on 20 December 2011 and the RIBA's response builds on and reinforces the areas that we highlighted as central in the 2011 consultation on the modernisation of EU public procurement policy:

  • The principals of proportionality and freedom to provide services should be applied in all areas to increase market access for SMEs and micro-businesses.

  • Market distortions should be removed to guarantee best possible outcomes.

  • The core values of professional services should be recognised to ensure that quality, standards and innovation can be delivered effectively and efficiently, and that intellectual services are not de-skilled. 

RIBA response to CLG request for views on regulation

August 2010

The RIBA has responded to a request from the Department of Communities and Local Government for ideas on future changes to the Building Regulations: how the regulations can be improved, added to, or slimmed down and suggestions as to how to deliver even better levels of compliance in the future.

One of the RIBA's key recommendations is that the building regulations should be simplified, and written in plain English as the existing regulations are impenetrable and alienating for a lay person. The RIBA believes that these changes will, for example, enable a homeowner to make an educated choice when undertaking small building works to their home.
Key issues included coordinating regulation; Reducing complexity; Simplifying guidance; Planning implementation; Achieving compliance; and Improving building performance

RIBA response to the Home Office's consultation on Safer Places

July 2009

The RIBA has responded to the Home Office’s consultation on Safer Places which looks at how to introduce counter-terrorism measures into new buildings as well as retrofitting current buildings. The RIBA supports the intention of the strategy. In particular the RIBA welcomes the attempt to de-myth ‘fortress city’ and bunker type architecture that many have suggested will result. In general we call for proportionality.

RIBA response to Budget 2009

April 2009

The RIBA responded to the Budget announcement acknowledging the uncertain economic climate for the UK and for architects. We welcomed the announcement of first ever carbon budgets and an allocation towards building new homes.

RIBA press release

RIBA response to Fair Access to the Professions Inquiry

March 2009

The RIBA took part in the inquiry led by Alan Milburn MP looking at social mobility and access to the professions. The RIBA President Sunand Prasad was a member of the panel.

The panel reported its findings in Unleashing Aspirations

RIBA response to ARB Code Review
January 2009

Consultation 2008/05 - Amendments to the Architects Code: Standards of Professional Conduct and Practice

RIBA response to a Chief Construction Officer

March 2009

The RIBA welcomed the proposal for a Chief Construction Officer to help government and achieve joined-up thinking but called for the position to sit within the Treasury.

RIBA response to the Queen's Speech 2008

December 2008

The RIBA responded to the legislative programme for 08/09 highlighted in the Queen's speech. Of interest the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill and the Equalities Bill but expressed disappointment that the Heritage Protection Bill was not included.

RIBA press response 

RIBA response to the Draft Heritage Protection Bill
July 2008

The RIBA submitted a joint response with RTPI, RICS, IHBC, CIOB and POS. The RIBA supports the Heritage Reform but there is a deep concern around the provision of adequate funding for English Heritage and Local Authorities to undertake the work effectively.

RIBA response to BERR Prosperous Places Consultation
June 2008

The RIBA make a number of recommendations to ensure good quality design and architecture is high on the agenda with the onset of changes planned to strengthen the economic performance in regions, cities and localities.  These recommendations relate to the accountability and representativeness of the Regional Development Agencies; the need for spatial planning to be recognised as a key delivery mechanism to Local Area Agreement and other socio-economic objectives, and for RDAs to continue and further the support of good quality design including design review and design champions.

RIBA response to the Queen's Speech

November 2007

Issues concerning the built environment were crucial in the new legislation announced this year. Four important bills propose changes in the way that buildings and places are planned, built and looked after: these deal with Climate Change, Planning Reform, Housing and Regeneration and a Draft Bill for Heritage Protection. See the RIBA's response and a quote from our President below.

RIBA proposals to clarify the ARB/RIBA relationship
October 2006 update
The RIBA has issued an update to its members, and other interested parties including the ARB, regarding progress made against six RIBA proposals to clarify the Institute's relationship with the ARB. The full update is attached.

PDFRIBA response
File size: 208kB 


Role of Historic Buildings in Urban Regeneration
November 2003
The RIBA submitted comments to the House of Commons ODPM Select Committee inquiry into the role of historic buildings in urban regeneration. RIBA President George Ferguson also gave oral evidence to the Committee on 2 February 2004. A transcript of the evidence session is available below. 

PDFRIBA response
File size: 128kB

Transcript of evidence session

DCMS Heritage Review 
October 2003
The RIBA greatly welcomes the thrust of this Review to achieve an effective and sustainable approach to managing and protecting our historic environment that enables appropriate change. 

PDFRIBA response
File size: 135kB

PDFDCMS Heritage Review
File size: 934kB


London Olympics Bid
May 2003
The RIBA fully supports London's bid to host the 2012 Olympics. If successful, the Olympics will offer a huge range of exciting development opportunities for east London and the opportunity for the architecture profession and the construction industry to provide exemplars in sustainable development. 

PDFRIBA response
File size: 32kB


Rethinking Construction 
July 1999
The RIBA welcomed the government's Rethinking Construction report, the findings of the Construction Task Force chaired by Sir John Egan, and drafted the following response. Architects and the Changing Construction Industry (see RIBA policies) is the follow-up document to this initial response.

PDFRIBA response
File size: 179kB

PDFRethinking Construction report
File size: 105kB

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