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RIBA responds to Conservative manifesto

25 November 2019

RIBA President, Alan Jones, said:

“The Conservative manifesto highlights that the UK’s architecture sector is “world-leading”, but this status can only be maintained if the profession can access the right talent, and trade smoothly in the UK, and with Europe and the rest of the world.

I welcome the recognition of the need for more high-quality, environmentally friendly homes across the country – but the Conservative Party’s continued commitment to permitted development rights is inconsistent with this. Councils and local communities are currently powerless to stop the conversion of office blocks into poor quality housing that sidesteps vital quality and sustainability standards. The creation of high-quality and well-designed homes and the spaces around them relies on resourced and skilled local authorities, and professional expertise from project inception to finish.

It is encouraging to see the Conservative Party recognise the need to create more affordable, accessible homes for disabled people and the aging population. The RIBA’s research shows that housing for older people is creating the country’s hidden housing crisis.

The next government must prioritise a commitment to fire safety, mandating sprinklers in all new and converted residential buildings, enforcing the removal of dangerous Grenfell style cladding and urgently committing to a comprehensive review of building safety regulations. England’s rules lag shamefully behind those in other countries such as Wales and the USA, putting the public at risk.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

1. For further press information contact: Isabel.Campbell@riba.org or +44 (0)20 7307 5533

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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