The RIBA called for:
- the delivery of high-quality, inclusive design for all developments should be a core planning principle
- further guidance is needed to support the NPPF on design codes, local standards, community consultation and energy mapping
- reinforcement of the need for design review panels to be independent and cross-professional and to be operated in conformity to the industry guidance produced by CABE, RIBA, RTPI and the Landscape Institute
- local authorities should take account of the recommendations of design review panels when considering planning applications.
"We are very supportive of the draft National Planning Policy Framework which we believe provides a strong steer for local authorities and neighbourhoods on how to develop their local plans," commented Angela Brady, President of RIBA. "We have long argued for the rationalisation of policy and guidance produced by Government, and while improvements can still be made, we are very encouraged by progress so far.
We welcome in particular the strong emphasis placed by the Government on the importance of good design in delivering the sustainable development that the planning system exists to promote. The NPPF sends a clear message to councils to reject poor quality development and to aspire to build better. We hope that planning authorities will take up this challenge.
Crucially, however, the Government needs to ensure that arrangements are in place that enable a smooth transition for the changes that are taking place. We are particularly concerned about the lack of capacity and expertise in many planning departments and would urge the Government to do all it can to support local authorities and neighbourhoods as they look to create a long-tem and sustainable vision for their communities."