Debate 31 - Regime Change: is there a case for restructuring?

Monday, February 19th, 2007 | Debates

Control of building development has grown piecemeal over the centuries from the medieval Assize of Building of 1189 on. New elements and layers have been constantly added to the control regime in response to new concerns; they have rarely been taken away or the whole restructured.

"Coherent overall decision making ability has long since disappeared"

"Coherent overall decision making ability has long since disappeared"

There are now so many pieces of legislation and control functions carried out by separate bodies that any coherent overall decision making ability has long since disappeared and the system is largely impenetrable to insiders let alone outsiders. At a time when buildings are increasingly needed to perform holistically, has the time come to rethink and restructure this system?

Should the three separate planning, building regulation and health & safety control regimes be reorganised as a single system with a more coherent view of design development, working from strategy, through detail design, to implementation? Could it deliver better, safer and greener results?

This debate will be chaired by Peter Bishop, Director of Design for London and formerly Director of Culture and Environment at the London Borough of Camden. The outcome of this debate will feed into RIBA’s separate enquiry into Improving the Planning Process to be held in March 2007 as well the RTPI’s own policy process.

Paper 1 - Is there a case for restructuring? (PowerPoint)

Paul Everall CBE, Chief Executive of Local Authority Building Control and formerly the head of the Buildings (previously Building Regulations) Division in the then Office of the Deputy Prime Minister

Paper 2 - Unifying Consent Regimes for Building Development (PowerPoint)

Chris Watts, Executive Director of Renaissance Bedford and formerly co-author of the Halcrow Report into the Unification of Consent Regimes [2004] commissioned by the ODPM

Notes from the debate

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