The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has today responded to the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s 2020 Spending Review.
RIBA President, Alan Jones, said: “Today’s economic and employment forecasts make for stark reading. Medium-term support for individuals and businesses struggling with the impact of the pandemic and a long-term investment plan to keep the country building are essential. The government’s financial support packages have been, and continue to be, critical for our sector. It’s therefore reassuring to see the Chancellor allocate significant sums of money to continue provisions.
“The National Infrastructure Strategy must also be welcomed as a long-overdue framework that should kick-start the development of sustainable transport links across the UK.
“While the Chancellor’s comments on increasing ‘pride’ within neighbourhoods and the allocation of £7.1bn to roll out a national home building plan might show some commitment to tackle our housing crisis, the funding fundamentally falls short of what’s required. Local Authorities need adequate money and resource so they can deliver the council houses we need, and those currently facing huge fees for the remediation of flammable cladding need more than the £1bn already pledged.
“Finally, wherever the government spends money over the coming year, we urge the Treasury to undertake Post Occupancy Evaluation to ensure maximum value for money. To make the most of government funds and reach net zero by 2025, the government must understand how new buildings and infrastructure actually perform.”