The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has expressed serious concern at today's announcement by Housing Minister Grant Shapps that the Homes and Communities Agency's (HCA) proposed Core Housing Standards will be abandoned.
"This is a deeply troubling decision that will have profound implications for communities across the country," said Ruth Reed, President of RIBA.
"The proposed HCA standards were designed to raise the overall quality of publicly funded housing and ensure that new homes meet the most basic of lifestyle needs - reform was desperately needed.
We agree that there is too much regulation in the housing sector, but the HCA standards were designed to harmonise regulation and provide clarity for industry.
The Government needs to ensure that it provides strong, clear guidance which underlines the importance of design quality, and we are concerned that the proposed menu of options for local authorities may lead to further confusion and lower standards.
UK house builders have delivered the smallest homes in Europe, and have built homes which have been consistently judged to be of a poor quality by the Government's own design watchdog.
The Government should be putting the interests of communities first."