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Design Quality

Volume 448: debated on Thursday 6 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will take steps to make Government funding conditional on good design quality. (80041)

The Government believe good design is essential in creating and maintaining quality places where people want to live and work, now and in the future. Through a range of different interventions we aim to create better, more liveable places through promoting more informed attention to design, the quality of which makes the difference in creating places that will stand the test of time.

The Office of Government Commerce is an independent office of the Treasury which works with public sector organisations to help them improve their efficiency, gain better value for money from their commercial activities and deliver improved success from programmes and projects. Ministers have agreed minimum procurement standards ( that are mandatory across central Government. These standards include that all clients should aim to deliver design excellence in accordance with the principles set out in ‘Achieving Excellence 9: Design Quality (OGC, 2004)’.

The Department for Communities and Local Government is also promoting and delivering good design through three main channels:

Developing policy and raising design standards of buildings and places. DCLG non-departmental public bodies, English Partnerships and the Housing Corporation, have both set out design quality standards that are requirements for projects that they fund.

Encouraging innovation in buildings and the management of the public realm, through programmes and projects such as the Millennium Communities and the £60,000 home competition that are setting new benchmarks.

Promoting and championing understanding and take-up of good practice, sharing experience and improving design skills, though funding to the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment and the Academy for Sustainable Communities to support work on the ground.