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RIBA responds to Liberal Democrats Manifesto

RIBA responds to Liberal Democrats Manifesto

17 May 2017

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has responded to the publication of the Liberal Democrats manifesto, published earlier today.

RIBA President Jane Duncan said:

"I am pleased to see that the Liberal Democrats have recognised the key role of the built environment sector in tackling issues such as energy demand, climate change and urban flooding through their plans for infrastructure and housing.

“Proposals for new housebuilding should be balanced with ambitions to deliver high quality, well designed and sustainable homes across the country.”

On Brexit

“I warmly welcome the commitment from the Liberal Democrats to protect the rights of existing EU citizens in the UK, and UK citizens in the EU. Our members need to see this issue resolved as a matter of urgency. The party’s desire to open up access to university courses also chimes with RIBA’s target to achieve greater diversity in the architecture profession through apprenticeships, with varied and affordable new routes to qualification.”

On planning and communities

“The promise to devolve powers around housing, transport and skills, backed with resources for infrastructure projects is a welcome step to help local communities create better places to live, work and play. Meaningful devolution opportunities in areas such as housing can help to boost skills in the construction sector across the country.

“The Liberal Democrats also wish to strengthen local government planning powers, but this needs to be backed with sufficient resources to ensure proactive planning departments. Ensuring full transparency for viability assessments in Section 106 and Community Infrastructure Levy negotiations on new developments offers potential to improve public trust in the planning system.”

On housing

“We need solutions to tackle our housing crisis that take a long-term view. The aim of building 300,000 more affordable, energy efficient homes, is a welcome recognition of the need to tackle the housing crisis with intelligence, and help reduce energy consumption.

“The RIBA also welcomes lifting the borrowing cap for local authorities to boost housing supply, which will help deliver more of the homes that people need.”

On schools

“Nearly half a million additional school places will be required by 2021, and the Lib Dems have pledged to build new schools to meet this need. Evidence shows that good design in school buildings is key to ensuring that we can support best outcomes for pupils and teachers, and get the most out of both current and future investment.”


“Recognition from the Liberal Democrats of the need to support greater sustainability in infrastructure and the built environment is particularly welcome; not only is this crucial to meet challenges that the UK faces at home, but key to unlocking innovation that can drive better environmental outcomes more broadly.

“Every year, flooding causes devastating hardship to communities across the UK; with climate change this will only get worse. That’s why RIBA welcomes the Liberal Democrats’ recognition of the value of flood resilience in buildings and infrastructure in at risk areas.”

The RIBA will shortly launch its own manifesto document to highlight the vital role architecture plays in the success of the UK and our communities.


Notes to editors:

  1. For further press information contact Howard Crosskey in the RIBA press office:
  2. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is a global professional membership body that serves its members and society in order to deliver better buildings and places, stronger communities and a sustainable environment.

    Follow @RIBA on Twitter for regular updates.

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