[holding answer 13 March 2007]: The Secretary of State has not met with the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) specifically to discuss issues related to planning. She last met with representatives from CABE on 21 November 2006 for a general discussion of their progress against agreed work priorities for 2006-07. At this meeting CABE did re-iterate views it had set out as part of its formal response to the consultation on the forthcoming Planning Policy Statement 3: Housing, with specific reference to the importance of emphasising good design.
CABE is the Government’s advisor on architecture, urban design and public space and therefore Communities and Local Government Ministers may meet with CABE for a variety of reasons each year. One meeting will normally be held to discuss CABE’s objectives for the forthcoming year. Other meetings can involve a broad discussion on design issues which may include consideration of how CABE’s programmes can support good quality outcomes from the planning process, for example through its design review service.
There will also be occasions when Ministers and CABE representatives are both present at meetings and events that are also attended by other parties, and at which the planning system may be among the issues discussed.