he Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has given an initial reaction to today’s Queen’s Speech.
Of particular interest to the RIBA:
National Planning and Infrastructure Bill – including new legislation for neighbourhood planning
Education for All Bill – commitment to lay foundations for educational excellence in all schools
RIBA Chief Executive Alan Vallance said:
“The overuse of pre-commencement planning conditions has long frustrated our architect members, so we are pleased to see government listening to the concerns of our profession and taking action on this issue through the National Planning and Infrastructure Bill.
“We are also interested to see government’s focus on empowering regions. Improving infrastructure is key to ensuring that communities all over the UK can unlock even greater potential and help rebalance our economy – we will be watching how these plans develop.
“We are pleased to see the £150 million investment for schemes in areas most affected by flooding and will continue our work with government, through such programmes as the Cumbria Floods Partnership, to ensure that this money is used to support more sustainable flood resilient measures.”
“The government’s new proposals to encourage excellence in schools are to be encouraged, but the important role of well-designed school buildings should not be overlooked. As our recent ‘Better Spaces for Learning’ research report shows, current funding and procurement structures are inefficient and wasteful and far too many pupils and teachers are struggling to learn and teach in school buildings that are damaging to their health and attainment. We urge the Government to review the Education Funding Agency’s current school building programme to make sure it delivers consistently good results and better value for the tax payer.”
“We welcomed government commitments to review space standards, sustainable drainage and carbon standards as the Housing and Planning Act concluded its passage last week. But given the scale of the housing crisis, a strong emphasis on encouraging the building of well-designed and affordable homes is a notable omission from today’s speech.”