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Sir Jonathon Porritt Backs Architecture Manifesto: Politicians Must Wake Up To The Environment

Chairman of the Sustainable Development Commission, Sir Jonathon Porritt CBE, is supporting the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in its efforts to persuade political parties to promote environmentally responsible policies during the general election campaign.

Sir Jonathon Porritt said:

"The Sustainable Development Commission warmly welcomes the RIBA's Manifesto for Architecture: 21 Actions for a better Britain. This General Election campaign has been depressingly indifferent to major environmental issues and indeed to the challenge of sustainable development more broadly.

"An initiative such as this will remind all candidates (and, equally importantly, their party leaders) that it is simply unacceptable to go on ignoring critical concerns about the environment and sustainable development that will have such a dramatic effect on the lives of all UK citizens."

The RIBA has published A Manifesto for Architecture ¡V 21 actions for a better Britain to coincide with the General Election. It encourages political parties to realise that there are votes in good architectural policies and that demanding good design equals better public services and more sustainable communities.

Among 21 action points, the manifesto contains a number of recommendations for more sustainable neighbourhoods, including:

  • Introducing stamp duty relief on the first sale of sustainable homes
  • Equalising VAT to the lower rate on all forms of construction
  • Using the 2007 council tax valuation review to offer discounts for energy efficiency or waste reduction, including incentives for private sector landlords
  • Using the development of publicly-owned land to pioneer sustainable design and construction techniques, together with mixed tenure
  • Making the planning system sympathetic to domestic renewable energy generation
  • Ensuring disclosure of energy consumption in all new buildings
  • Making every school a demonstration project for sustainability

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