Civic Voice – the national charity for the civic and conservation movement – this week signed a letter to the Secretary of State calling for an independent body to be set up to oversee national design standards. This letter follows quickly on from Civic Voice welcoming the final report from the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission Living in Beauty – published on 30th January 2020. Individuals signing the letter include the Chair of the Place Alliance and CEO of the Design Council.
The letter, available to read here welcomes the idea of an independent body to help oversee the recommendations from the Building Better Commission, however, we do not believe that this goes far enough. The ambition should be for a body that is longer term and authoritative, with the ability to reach across Government departments and its agencies, bring together and harness the energies of the wide range of professional, industry, campaigning and advocacy organisations and experts in this field, whilst influencing developers and local government and helping to give ordinary citizens and communities the confidence that design quality really matters.
Ian Harvey, Executive Director of Civic Voice, said: “If we want to avoid Living with Beauty becoming just another report to be left on the Government shelf, it is going to take effort and energy from organisations in the sector to come together on shared policy issues to campaign for change on the bigger issues. We need to continue the conversation about the value of good design. I was pleased to sign this letter calling for a national unit to oversee the quality of design. Some people may say that it is simply asking Government to re-establish CABE, but I couldn’t possibly comment.”
The recommendations from the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission will be debated at Civic Voice’s APPG meeting in March. Register to attend here.