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RIBA Responds to Labour Party 2015 Manifesto

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) recently responded to the Labour Party’s launch of its 2015 General Election Manifesto.

Referring to the prominent issues of Housing, Planning, Schools Building and Flood defences, all of which figure in the organisation’s #BuildaBetterCampaign, RIBA president Stephen Hodder stated the following:

On Housing

The RIBA embraces the idea that houses should be constructed where people want to live and build up their communities. The organisation believes that if affordable homes are to be delivered, the Government must abolish the Local Authority borrowing limit on receipts from Housing Revenue Accounts.

On Planning

Mr Hodder said that the next Government should examine the National Policy Planning Framework to confirm that it is sustainable on the whole. Stronger guidance is especially needed on viability negotiations to deal with current system delays.

On Schools Building

The RIBA’s position is that the commitment of the Labour Government to preserve the schools budget needs to be accompanied by an acknowledgement of the necessity of investing in the country’s schools estate. Mr Hodder said that the UK is facing an increasing shortage of locations for schools, and 80 percent of all school properties are in poor condition. When buildings are well-designed, well-being improves and maintenance costs go down, which is important to the long-term well-being of the national education system.

On Flood Defences

Mr Hodder said that the next Government needs to offer security for communities in flood-prone areas by passing legislation that commits successive governments to make flood protection an ongoing priority. He added that the RIBA welcomes the commitments from Labour to better protect communities by prioritising flood prevention.

Architects all over the UK will urge general election candidates to support the building of at least 300,000 new houses per year in the new parliament.

In February the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) launched Build a Better Britain, its general election campaign. Stephen Hodder said that the built environment is important to the success of the UK and its communities as well as the health and wellbeing of all residents.


Specialists in Construction Insurance

The RIBA stated that there was a “desperate” need for new housing. Only 107,000 homes were built during the 2012-13 year, while an anticipated 1.5 million will be needed by 2020. The organisation’s call for 300,000 new homes to be built every year exceeds the targets set by most political parties and lobby groups, with Labour promising an annual build of 200,000 if elected.

More schools will also be required as the population goes up, with over 250,000 new spots being created this year.

The RIBA said that building standardisation should be employed to help save costs and create structures that have a timeless quality but offer better value.

Over 5.2 million houses were at risk of flooding, with assets valued at £200bn in potential danger from water damage.

The RIBA said that the next government needs to provide local authorities with the power to deny planning permission in flood-prone areas.


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