The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has been joined by a number of its peers in calling for the UK Government to appoint a full-time built environment advisor to ‘champion’ higher standards throughout government.
The recommendation is for a senior official to be given a similar status to that of the government’s chief scientific advisor and would be supported by staff in a new but ‘small, strategic unit’.
According to ‘Building Better Places’, a report from the select committee on national policy for the built environment, such a unit would “conduct, commission and disseminate research and guidance on architecture and design within the built environment”.
The report adds: “This new unit should be led by the chief built environment advisor, and should have access to expertise, research and insight from across and beyond government.”
Ben Derbyshire, chair of the Housing Forum, said it “absolutely endorses the advice of the House of Lords Committee on National Policy for the Built Environment”.
“The RIBA has also joined with other professional institutes called for a senior civil servant to be appointed to oversee and report on quality in the built environment, calling for professional representation at Whitehall to help politicians understand how to obtain the best possible outcomes,” added Derbyshire.
“I would personally endorse the appointment of an architect in this role – as made plain in our ‘Architects Leading’ campaign in council.”
Jane Duncan, president, RIBA, said: “I welcome this important report by the House of Lords. The RIBA will now get to work with our members and other professionals in the built environment to ensure these important policies are adopted by government.”
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