CABE review urges a more evidence-based analysis of its impact, plus more active engagement with the planning system

The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment's (CABE) sponsoring department, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has published a light touch review of CABE, suggesting that it must more actively engage in the local and regional planning system. It also stated that: 'CABE needs to build on this existing work to develop a coherent evidence-based strategy to measure the effectiveness of all aspects of its work.

'Where possible (and we recognise that the scope for this is seriously limited) it should be based on economic or other robust numerical indicators. Where this is impossible and judgements about effectiveness must be made on the basis of the testimony of those involved or affected by CABE’s work, the methods and protocols for gathering and reporting this evidence should be explicit.'

The review was conducted through reviewers from the University of the West of England. The DCMS and CLG (as co-funder of CABE) have published a joint response with CABE.

The review found evidence that CABE is well aligned with government priorities, is effective and plays a positive and influential role in the promotion of design quality. It also showed, both through stakeholder feedback and case studies, that it has made a real difference to the quality of buildings and places.

The reviewers made five recommendations to further improve CABE’s already high standards of design advice, guidance and services, so as to help ensure a high quality built environment.

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