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RIBA responds to Tory manifesto

Housing, planning, school buildings and flood defence are vital election issues, says the Royal Institute of British Architects

Posted by Dave Higgitt | April 17, 2015 | People, policy, politics

RIBA has responded to the launch of the Conservative Party’s 2015 general election manifesto. Discussing the issues of housing, planning, school buildings and flood defences RIBA president, Stephen Hodder made the following comments:

On housing

“It is vital that the pressure to tackle the housing crisis doesn’t lead to sub-standard homes. RIBA supports the principle of more low-cost homes on brownfield sites, but high-quality design and infrastructure are essential if these homes are to meet the needs of communities now and in the future.”

On planning

“The next government should review the national policy and planning framework (NPPF) to ensure that it balances both economic sustainability and social and environmental factors. We remain deeply concerned by the loss of expertise from local authority planning teams and its impact on the quality of new developments.”

On school buildings

“We hope that the Conservatives’ commitment to school funding will enable improvements to the quality of the UK’s school buildings. We face a growing shortage of school places, and 80 percent of our school buildings are in poor condition, failing the students and teachers trying to learn and teach in them. Well-designed buildings improve wellbeing and cut maintenance costs – vital to the long-term future of the UK’s education system.”

On flood defences

“We welcome the party’s announcement that they will build 1,400 new flood defences. However, we need to go further. The next government should provide real security for communities in areas affected by flooding by introducing legislation committing successive UK governments to build flooding resilience as a strategic priority for the long term. There should also be a guarantee that new homes won’t be built on flood plains.”

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