Architects will work for free on panels for local authorities
The RIBA has outlined plans that would see architects providing free design review services for local authorities.
Former RIBA president Ruth Reed presented the proposals at last week’s council meeting, where she said local authorities would be expected to provide the resources to set up and run the panel, but that individuals would not necessarily be paid.
“This offer we made recognises that there isn’t much money on the table,” she said, adding that many RIBA members “believe in the benefit of design review”.
Under the proposals architects would get CPD training to sit on design review panels, with higher levels of training available for those wishing to chair panels.
But the move goes against Design Council Cabe’s plans to charge local authorities, including London boroughs, for design review and RIBA councillors questioned the provision of a free service.
“The RIBA has to be transparent on the issue of money,” said one council member. “Design Council Cabe are talking about charging for design review. If others are charging, are we mugs?”
Reed came under fire for potentially going into commercial competition with existing design review panels, who she admitted she hasn’t consulted.
“This is an existing RIBA provision that we’re increasing the provision of, we don’t need to ask them,” said Reed.
The RIBA council voted overwhelmingly for the plans to be developed, with one member voting against and one abstaining.
“This is not the final decisions, it’s a means of going forward,” said RIBA president Angela Brady.
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