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United Kingdom/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation  

5.3.5 Architecture and spatial planning

Since the 1997 Architects Act, the Architects Registration Board (ARB) has regulated the architectural profession in the UK. To use the title "architect" a person must be appropriately qualified and registered with the ARB. The ARB has the power to take action against anyone that misuses the title. All architects registered with the ARB must also comply with the Architects Code.

There is a raft of legislation relating to architecture, environmental design and planning in the UK. For example; the Town & Country Planning Act of 1947 affirmed development rights belonged to the state and obliged local authorities to prepare plans of their areas and outline intentions for land use control; the Building Act 1984 protects the public by ensuring that the buildings around them are properly designed and safely built - regulations also cover issues like energy conservation and disabled access, they can apply both to new buildings and to work done on existing buildings; the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 1994 require a co-ordinated approach to health and safety issues at every stage of a construction project.

At present, there is no national Percentage for Art legislation. However, since 1988 more than 50 city and district authorities have adopted "per cent for art" policies and implemented schemes in relationship to their refurbishment, construction, environmental and planning programmes. Urban Development Corporations are obliged by law to provide a "visually attractive environment".

Government Policy on the Architecture and the Built Environment for Northern Ireland was published in June 2006. This document is a significant step forward in the drive to improve standards of design in architecture and the built environment, delivering an array of public projects as examples of good practice to inspire the private sector to pursue similar strategies.

Chapter published: 15-04-2011

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