CABE decision a surprise but not unexpected

Back in the autumn of 2008 I spent some time at the Commission for Architecture Design and Environment (CABE) and I was a little shocked to see them abolished in all but name.

I was only there for a little more than a month as a temporary senior press officer when I was offered a permanent role back in journalism.

But, there was a lot of good work going on at CABE and I think they've failed to promote themselves probably in the past two years.

CABE repeated at the end of last week that it was not abolished, but removing its funding the government is scrapping the quango in all but name.

I mean if my boss told me after a certain date I'd no longer be paid but was welcome to come in and work, I'd be telling him where to go.

And, that's what happened to CABE in the coalition government's Comprehensive Spending Review.

When I was there sustainability was the order of the day and you wouldn't see a design review going out without something on the sustainability level being mentioned.

But, with the smoke and mirrors that surround the releasing of information on design reviews not being cleared up and a increased focus on open spaces and the Prime Minister better building award, CABE had drifted away from its main purpose.

It was also often accused of giving developers contrary advice, with some builders saying that once they had followed CABE guidance a local authority would turn round and tell them they wanted the opposite.

So, in that light CABE had gone off the boil.

But, with local papers coverage of council meetings becoming ever more sparse who will be responsible for holding local government to task over its planning applications systems.

I hope the government has a long term plan for this as local council often suffer with difficulties in recruiting people for the planning departments.

And with cuts obvious for local government it's not going to be in a position to protect its lands from over or inappropriate developments.

It's going to be an interesting time for green building and I'm glad there is still the likes of BRE and the Breeam system.


Luke Walsh

Topics: edie
Tags: BREEAM | cuts | planning
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